How to Choose the Right Dental Forceps for Efficient Extractions

Tooth extraction is one of the most frequent procedures a dentist performs. 

Choosing the right dental forceps is crucial to ensure a successful extraction. With a wide range of forceps available, it can be overwhelming to make the right choice. 

Let’s review the different types of dentistry forceps, understand their specific use, and discuss what to consider when selecting a pair, along with maintenance tips. 

Types of Dental Surgical Forceps

Dental surgical forceps come in various shapes and sizes, each designed for specific tooth extractions. 

Understanding the different types will help you decide when to select the appropriate forceps for your extraction procedures.

Extraction Forceps: These are the most commonly used forceps for tooth extractions. They have pointed tips on solid, curved jaws that provide a firm hold on the tooth. 

Several different designs of extraction forceps are available, including:

  • Lower molar forceps for lower molars
  • Upper molar forceps for upper molars
  • Universal forceps for general use
  • English and American patterns

Surgical Forceps: Surgical forceps are designed for atraumatic tissue grabbing during extraction. They have longer handles and more robust blades compared to extracting forceps. Surgical forceps are available in various designs, including bayonet-shaped, root-tip, and luxating forceps.

Pedodontic Forceps: Pediatric patients require specialized forceps for their smaller teeth and delicate mouths. Pedodontic forceps have smaller, narrow jaws that fit comfortably around the tooth, minimizing trauma and discomfort to the child. These forceps come in various designs for different tooth types and locations.

Understanding the Different Parts of Dental Forceps

To choose the right oral surgical instruments, it is essential to understand the different parts and their functions. Here are the critical components of dentistry forceps:

  • Handle: The handle of dental surgical forceps provides grip and control during extractions. It should be comfortable to hold and allow for precise movements. Handles may have different textures, such as knurled or serrated, to enhance grip.
  • Joint: The joint is the pivot point where the two halves of the dental forceps meet. It should be sturdy and allow for smooth opening and closing of the blades. A loose or weak joint can affect the forceps’ functionality and durability.
  • Beaks/Jaws: The beaks come into direct contact with the tooth. They should be designed to provide a secure grip on the tooth without causing damage to the surrounding tissues. Jaws may have serrated or grooved surfaces for enhanced grip.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Dental Forceps

Selecting suitable oral surgical instruments involves considering several factors to ensure a successful and efficient extraction. 

Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

  • Tooth Type: Different teeth require different forceps. Consider the tooth’s size, shape, and location when choosing forceps. For example, lower incisors need shorter handles and straight blades, while upper molars may require longer handles and curved blades.
  • Patient’s Anatomy: Every patient has a different oral anatomy, so it’s essential to take things like bone density, tooth position, and root shape into consideration. These aspects will help you select forceps that provide optimal grip and minimize trauma during extraction.

Tips for Maintaining and Sterilizing Dentistry Forceps

Proper maintenance and sterilization of dental surgical forceps are crucial for infection control and longevity. Here are some tips to ensure the longevity and effectiveness of your dental forceps:

  • Cleaning: After each use, thoroughly clean the forceps to remove debris or blood. Use a brush and appropriate cleaning agents to clean all the parts, paying particular attention to the joints and beaks. Rinse them with water and dry them before storage.
  • Sterilization: Oral surgical instruments should be sterilized before each use to prevent cross-contamination. Follow the recommended sterilization procedures, which may involve autoclaving or chemical sterilization. Ensure that the forceps are appropriately packaged and stored after sterilization.
  • Regular Inspection: Inspect your dental surgical forceps for any wear or damage. Check the joint for looseness or stiffness and ensure the blades are correctly aligned. Replace any forceps that show signs of wear to maintain optimal functionality and patient safety.
  • Proper Storage: Store your oral surgical instruments in a dry, clean environment to prevent corrosion and contamination. Use sterilization pouches or trays to keep them protected and organized. Avoid placing forceps in areas with excessive moisture or temperature fluctuations.

Dental Forceps for Specific Tooth Types and Locations

Different teeth require specialized forceps for optimal extraction. 

Here are some examples of dental surgical forceps designed for specific tooth types and locations:

  • Upper Molar Forceps (Universal): These forceps are designed for extracting upper molars. They have curved jaws and a universal design that provides a secure grip on various upper molar teeth.
  • Lower Molar Forceps (Universal): Similar to upper molar forceps, these forceps are designed for extracting lower molars. They have curved jaws that adapt to the shape of lower molar teeth.
  • Upper Incisor Forceps: These forceps are designed explicitly for extracting upper incisors. They have shorter handles and straight jaws that fit comfortably around the smaller incisor teeth.
  • Pedodontic Forceps (Upper Primary Molars): These forceps are designed for extracting primary molars in pediatric patients. They have smaller jaws and a gentle grip to minimize discomfort for the child.


Choosing the right dental forceps is essential for successful and efficient extractions. By understanding the different types of forceps, their parts, and the factors to consider during selection, you can confidently choose the appropriate forceps for any extraction procedure.

Remember to maintain and sterilize your forceps properly to ensure longevity and prevent cross-contamination. 

If you are looking for premium-quality surgical instruments, GerDentUSA is a reliable option. Here, you can find the best dental surgical instruments for your needs at the best prices. They offer customization and guarantee the quality and durability of their instruments.


  1. What is the difference between upper and lower dental forceps?

Uppers are straight, and Lower forceps are slightly bent to reach affected teeth.

  1. What are the two basic types of forceps?

There are two basic types of forceps: locking and non-locking.