The dental drill is one of the most common dental tools you may encounter during a routine teeth cleaning appointment. While it may look and sound intimidating, it is a safe and useful tool used by dentists and dental technicians regularly. A report from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine states that between 9% and 15% of Americans experience anxiety relating to trips to the dentist. This anxiety can stem from painful past experiences to nonspecific fears surrounding medical events. It can sometimes be helpful to understand more about the tools used and the process of dental care in order for anxious patients to handle dental visits. As such, learning about the dental drill can remove some of the fear from patients.
The Parts of a Dental Drill
The primary elements of a dental drill are the dental turbines in the handpiece, which use compressed air to operate at high speeds. The spinning of the turbine is what makes the noise of the drill and helps the technician use it during cleanings. Many dental drills now come with small lights to assist the technician in seeing more clearly, as well as water cooling mechanisms to reduce heat in the handpiece. The tip of the drill is called a burr, which can come in many different shapes depending on the usage of the drill.
The Methods of Cleaning
Often, tartar and plaque can develop in places that are hard to reach, such as between teeth or along the gumline. These deposits can be quite tough to remove, so a drill makes the process easier for both the patient and the technician. Additionally, a different burr can help with polishing fillings for added smoothness and shine. This can help fillings look and feel like the natural teeth, which means the patient is more likely to experience comfort after the procedure.