If you need a cavity filled or root canal performed, your dentist will need to bring out the drill. Although the dental drill, or hand-piece, looks simple enough, it's actually evolved into a highly sophisticated piece of equipment over the years. Early iterations ran on low speed airflow and only used a single bur to perform a wide range of procedures. Furthermore, the drill was incredibly loud.
Here are three ways dental drills have improved over the years:
#1. Electric Operation
Dental drills first evolved from manually driven tools to ones powered by foot pedals. The pedals activated bellows that pushed air through the tool to rotate the shaft. Despite the initial improvement, this tool was still incredibly slow.
The first electrically driven drill drastically increased rotational speeds from several hundred RPMs to an astonishing 400,000 RPMs. The increased speeds allow dentists to quickly complete the procedure before the first dose of local anesthetic wears off.
#3. Bur Variation
Each procedure type demands a specific style of bur that allows precise, targeted movements. For example, root canals are performed with burs featuring a prominent parabolic tip that quickly exposes the inner tooth material.
Over the years, dental tool manufacturers have added dozens of bur styles to the original set of tiny, rounded tips. In addition, modern burs are made from diamond and carbide materials that easily cut through oral structures without causing damage to adjacent tissues.
Despite the noise improvements netted by switching to electric drills, many patients still report an increase in anxiety upon hearing the drill whir to life. To solve this problem, dentists recently embraced an innovative sound cancelling device that works alongside the drill equipment.
This device works by eliminating the sound of the drill while patients calmly listen to music through the headphones. Dentists can quickly perform the procedure without worrying about alarming the patient with frequent drill stops and starts.
Learning About The Equipment
Educating yourself about dental equipment can help reduce anxiety felt during routine procedures. Ask your dentist to go through all of the equipment on the tray to learn what each one does. As with the dental drill improvements listed above, you can rest assured that tool manufacturers continually upgrade the equipment to better suit both patients and dentists.
All of the tools used by your dentist are state of the art devices designed for a specific purpose. Allow yourself to marvel at the drastic improvements that have been inspired over the years in the dental field. Without them, dentists wouldn't be able to restore tooth damage, save broken or rotten molars or construct new teeth out of synthetic materials.
For more information, contact a professional such as Dr. Robert P. Mcgraw with any questions or concerns you have.