Free Dental Tools

Fast Facts are quick polymer clay tips, tricks, and information from The Blue Bottle Tree.I don’t think anyone actually likes going to the dentist. But I have a reason why you might look forward to your next appointment. And that’s because your dentist has something that you want. Tools. Specifically, dental tools. They’re perfect for working with polymer clay, especially if you like to make polymer clay sculptures. So how can you get free dental tools to use with your polymer clay?

It turns out that dentists are pretty hard on their tools and in the normal course of picking, scraping, and shaping teeth, it’s pretty common for dental tools to get broken. And it doesn’t take much of a break for the tool to be unusable for the dentist. But they’re still great tools with a lot of life left for people who are sculpting and working with polymer clay!

During a recent visit, I asked my dentist if he had any old tools lying around that perhaps I could have. His eyes brightened up and he said, “Sure! I’ve got a whole drawer full of them. How many do you need?” I told him that a small assortment would be plenty and asked if most dentists also have extra or old tools like this. He said, “Yes, every dentist has a bone-yard of old tools.” He said a few words to his assistant and next thing you know I had a little bag of pokey, sharp, free dental tools to take home. Score!!!

So next time you’re getting your teeth worked on…ask your dentist for some of his cast-off dental tools. You just might get lucky!

If you strike out, however, you can usually find some dental tools for a great low price at Harbor Freight (if you have one near you ). Another source is ebay or Amazon in your country. In addition to searching for “dental tools”, you can also find good sets by searching for “wax carving tools”. The cheap sets of dental tools you can find online are undoubtedly not up to your dentist’s standards, but they’re perfectly good for polymer clay work.

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This Fast Facts article tells how to get free dental tools for use with your polymer clay or other hobbies. More at The Blue Bottle Tree.

19 thoughts on “Free Dental Tools”

  1. Very true. In fact, I had a favorite from my dentist and when I asked him about another like it, he said he didn’t have that, but proceeded to sit down at a grinder (this was in his storeroom) and made me one like it from another tool. Many dentists are more than happy to accommodate us. I did have another student tell me her dentist wouldn’t give her any, siting safety precautions. But, it never hurts to ask.

  2. They’re also available for cheap at the online outlet, American Science & Surplus, one of my favorite “toy” stores. You just never know what you’re going to find there, plus the descriptions of the items are usually amusing.

  3. Your headline caught my eye. I just recently asked my dentist for any castoff instruments he may have. His reply was that every so often one of his girls gathers them all and recycles them but that I should talk to her about saving some for me. In doing so, she said she would gladly put some aside for me. Alright!!

  4. I asked the dental assistants and they just looked at me like I was nuts and mumbled something about liability. ===sigh===

    I did get the set Harbor Freight has, which seems to do the job just fine.

  5. I talked to my dentist a few years ago and to the dental hygienist who actually uses the tools. They told me they send them to a place that pays them and they are recycled, so they are part of the revenue stream at my dentist’s office. Bummer. However, I have found them on Ebay and Harbor Freight.

  6. Jeri Staley-Earnst

    I have been using these for years! Nothing like them for most anything you would like to make that has any type of detail. Great tip…ask your favorite DDS!

  7. My dental hygienist kept using a pretty set of tools to clean my teeth, finally I asked her where they were from so I could order some for me. She explained the set was on thier last leg and the dentist was getting ready to order her a new set. When the dentist came to check my teeth we asked him and he told her to bag them up for me right then! I always knew he was a great guy!

  8. I asked my dentist and they were intrigued by the idea but they also seemed unsure about giving them away to a patient so I didn’t pursue it. I may try again on my next visit now that they have been introduced to the idea.

  9. Mary Simkins Federici

    My dentist has long supported my art in all mediums, displaying some paintings in his offices and accepting one print as barter for dental care. He always has his helpers sterilize the instruments before he generously gives them to me.

  10. Not only is this article awesome, but I also discovered American Science & Surplus, thanks to the comments! How have I lived without this website?! Thanks, all!

  11. I like the idea of these Fast Facts, thank you Ginger. There are times when I just don’t have the time to read and absorb a long test posting, and these quick blasts will give me a boost. Having written and presented educational material myself in the past, I understand just how much time your test postings involve, and thank you for everything that you do.

  12. Lol Ginger I love it 🙂 I was at the dentist only on Thursday and I was checky to ask her if they had any old tools that they were not keeping 🙂
    They only had one left as the MensShed cleaned them out the week before :-/ but I love my new tool it was broken but after sanding the sharp edge down its the perfect tool for making the fake stitch marks on belts or patches 🙂 and the other end is perfect for pushing very small flowers into place without leaving a mark on them 🙂 she said she will keep a few tools aside for my next visit in 6 months time for my next check you 🙂
    And yep it was free 🙂 I can not wait for my next visit oh and I was even good no needle needed this time for a small filling on a broken tooth I got over Christmas 🙂 so I was doubly pleased 🙂 she was even impressed because since moving onto my new sonic tooth brush I have not needed fillings for decay this time 🙂 all my other visits have always ended with a decay being filled :-/ not this time 🙂 so yep looking forward to my next visit 🙂
    Great article but your articles long or short are always great 🙂
    Thanks Ginger 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for this great information ,for those of us that can’t afford to buy the very best tools .This is the best idea everyone knows a dentist……..

  13. I asked my dentist and they said they recycle the tools use so I went on geek and ordered blackhead and spot tools for £1 & £1 p&p they are brilliant thanks for your tips and posts x

  14. Heather M King

    This is weird this is exactly what did when I went to the dentist 2 weeks ago. They gave me all the dead tools they had, about 12. So grateful.

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