Modern Electric Dental Drills Help to Ease the Pain of Dental Procedures
Whether the drill is whirring down the hall or much closer to home, dental drills – and the sounds they make – are sometimes at the root of fear and anxiety. But dentists need those tools to prepare your teeth for fillings and crowns when you need them. Fortunately, there’s been progress in how dental drills work, making them quieter and less scary.
Before we drill down (see what we did?) on what you can expect your experience with dental drills will be like in our office, we thought you’d like to learn a little bit about what came before.
The Evolution of the Dental Drill
A dental drill is a hand-powered or electric tool used to create a series of holes in a person’s teeth. The types of drills used in dentistry range from simple manual drills to highly advanced computer-aided dental (CAD) drills. In more recent years, the use of lasers has even entered the field of dental drilling.
According to the History of Dentistry, the dental drill is one of the earliest dental tools invented. They say the first one came to be in the northwestern regions of South Asia around 7000 B.C. as a repurposed bow drill originally used to produce beads and jewelry.
After that first instance, dental drills progressed slowly, with a foot-powered spinning-wheel-inspired mechanical drill coming in the late 18th century, and a pneumatic dental drill powered by pedal-operated bellows that used air to work the instrument in the mid-19th century. Finally, the electric drill emerged and evolved as the twentieth century began, and the modern air turbine handpiece dental drill came to be in 1949.
Problems dentists and patients had with early dental drills included frustratingly long hours and hard work to complete the procedure, and a lot of unpleasant noise.
Our Choice: The Modern Electric Drill
Although electric drills have been around for a long time, the air turbine handpiece has been the standard for many decades. But the current incarnation of the electric dental drill leap-frogged the air turbine, and it’s working beautifully for us and our patients.
The modern electric drills we’re using today have many benefits, starting with a great improvement in the way they sound. They operate and prep teeth more quietly, and we notice a great reduction in related patient anxiety. They’re also even faster than the air-driven handpiece.
Those are the things our patients notice the most, but there are a couple of other benefits that we dentists greatly appreciate. The electric drills we’re using now generate less heat, which we like to say makes your teeth happier. The tooth prep is also cleaner with less fracturing than we were able to achieve with an air turbine handpiece.
We know that getting a cavity filled or a crown placed doesn’t exactly make anyone’s day, but they sure beat the alternative when you have a painful cavity or infection. The main thing for you to know is that we are always thinking of your comfort and quality of care. Staying up-to-date or even ahead of the curve on our dental technologies is a big part of that, and we’re very pleased to be able to keep making progress on your behalf.