What types of dentists are there

Dentist drill

In addition to the probe and mirror, the Dentist drill to the basic set at the dentist. But its steady hum causes discomfort for many patients.

What is a dental drill?

The dentist's drill is a special tool used in dentistry. The small rotating instrument basically works like a drill and is used to mechanically remove damaged teeth. The French dentist Pierre Fauchard came up with the idea of ​​treating holey teeth in this way and then filling them. He developed the first dentist's drill and is still known today as "Father of modern dentistry"The dental drills of that time were still operated by foot drive and differed significantly from today's models. On the one hand, such pedal drills were significantly slower, on the other hand they had much less precision. It was not until the middle of the 20th century that electric and air pressure-operated dental drills came onto the market .They were rotating at about 5,000 revolutions per minute faster and made the visit to the dentist much more pleasant for patients.

Why do you need dental drills?

A dental drill is used to remove lesions caused by tooth decay and periodontal disease. In order to be able to thoroughly remove and clean these diseased areas, the drill has to work its way through the hard tooth substance.

This requires a special drill bit made of an extra-hard material such as diamond or steel. The sharpness and precision of the instrument are just as important, so that only diseased tissue is removed and healthy tissue is spared. But the drill is also used to remove cracked fillings and old dentures. The device is one of the basic instruments of the modern medical practice, because without it the dentist could not do his work.

  • Caries - dental disease treated at the dentist without a toothache
  • Periodontal disease (periodontal disease) - painless periodontal treatment

What is the structure of a dental drill like?

A dental drill consists of three basic elements:

The device is connected to the drive via a cable on the shaft. The head is the actual working part and is provided with a suitable drill attachment if required. Depending on the operation, the dentist will choose the right shape, size and sharpness. After the filling has been set, the drill bit can be exchanged for a grinding tool or rubber polisher to give the teeth the necessary shine.

What types of drills are there?

In today's dental practice, the dentist has different drills to choose from. The main difference between drill types is their drive. So-called round burs are equipped with a motor, in contrast to this, the dental burs called turbines are driven by compressed air. Both types in comparison:

  • Rose borer (also called fissure burs or contra-angles) are angled preparation instruments and are operated electrically by a motor. The drill attachment is made of steel and is based on the appearance of a rose blossom. This type of dental drill reaches a speed of between 1,000 and 200,000 revolutions per minute. In spite of their comparatively strong vibrations, round burs are more gentle on tissue than the turbine. However, patients may find the vibration painful.
  • The turbine can reach very high speeds of up to 450,000 revolutions per minute. This means that turbines operate with very little vibration and the risk of overheating is low. In addition, the low-vibration running has the advantage that pain is reduced. This type of dental drill is operated by compressed air, which in turn rotates a turbine wheel. However, some patients find the whistling sound of the turbine to be a disadvantage when drilling.

How do dental drills work?

With the drill with an electric motor, the power is transmitted to the working head with the help of shafts. In the case of a turbine, it is the airflow that creates the rotation on the drill head. Since the invention of the drill for the teeth, the devices have been continuously developed, today's dental drills run with up to 450,000 revolutions per minute.

That sounds impressive, but this speed is less suitable for removing tooth decay because so much heat is generated. But it is crucial for successful treatment that the tooth does not overheat. If it becomes too warm during drilling, the tooth tissue will be damaged. In the worst case, the sensitive tooth nerve becomes inflamed. This is why dentists prefer the slower round burr to remove carious areas; the ideal speed is around 1,000 to 1,500 revolutions. In addition, when drilling and milling, water is fed into the mouth for cooling.

Are there quiet dental drills?

Modern drills actually work relatively quietly (about 60 decibels). However, if you sit on the dentist's chair yourself, the drilling noise sounds loud. Firstly, this is because the drill is very close to the ear in the mouth. Second, the oral cavity acts as a resonance space that amplifies the sound. Similar to the mouth drum, an instrument whose sound is changed by the size of the musician's mouth. On the other hand, new developments that could revolutionize the way dental drills work offer hope for silent visits to the dentist.

A new drill with laser promises to make dental treatments almost painless and noiseless in the future. The device is not yet ready for the market, because not every fabric responds to every light color. A different laser is therefore required to remove caries than to remove old filling material. Researchers are currently working on a laser device that can do both and could effectively replace the good old dental drill.

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Last update of this page on February 13th, 2021 by author Dr. Frank Seidel.

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