Role of Opposite Hand
When using the forceps and elevators to luxate and remove teeth, it is important that the surgeon’s opposite hand play an active role in the procedure. For the righthanded operator, the left hand has a variety of functions. It is responsible for reflecting the soft tissues of the . cheeks, lips, and tongue to provide adequate visualization of the area of surgery. It helps to protect other teeth from the forceps, should it release suddenly from the tooth socket. It helps to stabilize the patient’s head during the extraction process. In some situations, large amounts of force are required to expand heavy alveolar bone; therefore the patient’s head requires active assistance to be held steady. The opposite hand plays an important role in supporting and stabilizing the lower jaw when mandibular teeth are being extracted. It is often necessary to apply considerable pressure to expand heavy mandibular bone, and such forces can cause discomfort and even injury to the TMJ unless a steady hand counteracts them. A bite block placed on the contralateral side is also used to help support the jaw in this situation. Finally, the opposite hand supports the alveolar process and provides tactile information to the operator concerning the expansion of the alveolar process during the luxation period. In some situations it is impossible for the opposite hand to perform all of these functions at the same time, so the surgeon requires an assistant to help with some of them.