Dental Drill Appreciation

Today is National Dental Drill Appreciation Day. 

Archaeological evidence indicates that in the area of the Indus Valley Civilization, a form of dentistry was practiced as long ago as7000 BC. Teeth were discovered with3.5 mm depth drilled holes. Leonardo da Vinci (in the 15th century) sketched a design for a turbine that was powered by compressed air. This was one of his many inventions that weredental drills - paid - shutterstock 189732512 never created. 

Later, mechanical hand drills were used, but they were slow. A patent was issued in 1864 to a British dentist for a “clockwork dental drill.” It was faster, but noisy. Four years later an American dentist designed a pneumatic dental drill that was powered by pedal-operated bellows. Three years later, a pedal-powered drill was built in 1871. In 1871, the first electric-powered drill revolutionized the practice of dentistry. 

The dental drill is used for a great range of purposes extending from the obvious use to remove decay and prepare a space for a filling or for a root canal. Other uses include extracting teeth in surgery, polishing fillings, cosmetic dentistry, and more. Today, dental drills are available that are powered by different means, that operate at various speeds and are made at several angles. Some now include lighting and water to remove debris and cool the drill. There are also many varieties of burrs for various tasks. In fact, I read an article just last weekend about using lower speed drills to minimize aerosolization during the COVID19 Pandemic. 

Let’s send up a cheer for the amazing and versatile dental drill!