A dental drill, also called the dentist’s drill, is a portable high-speed precision drill. It is used to remove the decayed material from the teeth before the procedure of dental filling. In dentistry, the dental drill is also used for treating dental caries. A dental drill is capable of rotating at more than 400,000 rpm. Due to the shrill sound of the dental drill, it has become the major cause for dentophobia, the fear of dentistry.
In 1868, American dentist George F. Green innovated a pedal-powered drill that operated with the help of pneumatic bellows. In 1871, James B. Morrison innovated pedal-powered burr drill. Dr. Green patented the electric dental drill using the electromagnetic motor in the year 1871, which revolutionized dentistry. This was later modernized by replacing the electromagnetic motor with normal plug-in type electric-powered dental drill.
The dental drill usually uses small tungsten carbide or steel burs. The bur can also have a coating of diamond. The dental drill is carefully sterilized every time before any dental procedure. The dental drill is used to remove the decayed area of the tooth. Depending upon the affected area, the use of a dental drill, or an air abrasion device, or a laser ablation system can be used in the dental procedure.
Advanced robotic dental drills are being developed to assist the doctor and the patient to make the dental procedures more economical and less painful. In this procedure, a frame is used with very thin needles that are pierced in the gums to determine the location of the underlying bone. The findings are wirelessly transmitted to the personal computer. This data is combined with the CT scans, which then configures the guidelines for the specialized dental drilling procedure. The dentist then activates the drill to start drilling at precise spots that were predetermined by the computer.