Dental technology is constantly undergoing developments and changes, all designed to improve your quality of care. One of the most important tools that we have at our disposal is the dental drill. The drill has been in use for hundreds of years. It is one of the most effective tools for removing decay from cavities and preparing teeth for fillings. However, the drill is often thought to be a scary, painful tool, which can cause many patients to avoid treatment. At Simon K. Choyee, DDS, Inc., we use an electric drill, which provides numerous benefits over older types of drills and makes treatment a much easier, less stressful process.
Early Dental Drills
Dental drills have been around for hundreds of years. The earliest models, however, were both slow and quite painful, as there was no access to anesthesia. There were several developments made throughout the medieval and early modern periods to help solve dental issues. Finally, in 1864, a British dentist invented a clockwork dental drill that began to revolutionize dental drills. It was the first mechanized dental drill. While significantly faster, it was extremely noisy and had to be wound continuously.
Just four years later, an American dentist by the name of George Green patented a pneumatic dental drill that was powered by pedal operated bellows. In 1871, James Morrison brought about the pedal-powered drill.
A few years later, in 1875, Green developed the first ever electric drill. This drill could achieve incredible RPMs and maintain them indefinitely.
Modern Dental Drills
Electric drills were operating at speeds of 3,000 RPM by 1914, and those RPMs doubled by 1950s. At this time, drills powered by air turbines were introduced into the dental office. These air driven drills, which used compressed air, were operated by a foot pedal. These drills revolutionized dental care. However, they were known for their excessive noise. The noise often triggered fear or anxiety and is associated with pain.
Eventually, air driven drills were replaced with drills that rely on electricity for power. These drills come with interchangeable heads that allow us to perform different tasks, including drilling away decay, preparing teeth for restorations, and polishing teeth. The drills operate at different speeds to achieve specific goals.
The Benefits of Electric Drills
There are several benefits that come with electric drills:
||They are much more accurate. With air driven drills, a foot pedal and air turbine are used, resulting in a significant amount of guesswork. With an electric drill, we can dial in the exact speed that we need.
||Greater consistency. Where air driven drills can stall at lower speeds or get bogged down when operating for longer periods of time, electric drills do not have these same issues. This consistency provides you with a much greater quality of care.
||Quieter. Electric drills are significantly quieter than air-driven ones. This can help to ease fears and anxieties that many patients feel. With less noise, patients who might typically avoid dental care can receive the treatments they need and feel much more at ease.
If you have any questions or concerns about the electric drill, we can help. Call Simon K. Choyee, DDS, Inc. at (562) 947-4781 today for more information.