Tuesday, October 7, 2014

How Does A Dentist Drill Work?

Today, dentists are dependent on the drill handpiece. If the drill is running smoothly, then the practice is running smoothly.

What is it?
The drill is a sophisticated device which runs on electric motor or air pressure. The most common type is the air driven handpiece. It runs with the help of compressed air which helps in rotating the turbine, ultimately rotating the bur.

Dentist Drill (Air Driven) Consists of 2 Main Parts:
1. The body or shell through which air and water are supplied
2. The turbine which revolves the bur


Dental Handpiece
The body or shell can be made up of brass, stainless steel, or titanium. Brass is cheaper, but it is less strong and more corrosive. Steel is strong by costly. Titanium is the least corrosive, most strong, and the most costly.

The body can be further divided into head and outer sheath. The head holds the turbine and the outer sheath forms the handle and holds the inlets of air and water supply.
Interior Cross Section of Drill

Rusting of the inner surface of the head can be seen in handpieces due to repeated sterilization

Turbine is the heart of the drill. It is a kind of precision component which converts the air pressure in mechanical energy of rotation. Turbine rotates around an axis on which a bur or drill bit is fixed. As the turbine rotates, the bur will rotate. The turbine has small fin-like structures attached around its axis to catch the air resistance and convert it into rotatory motion.

How does the dental drill work?
Turbine inside head
1. Dentist presses a foot pad. The foot pad is a switch to turn the drill on and off.
2. When the foot pad is pressed, compressed air is released and enters the drill through the air inlet pipe which is attached to the drill at the back end, i.e. coupling
3. Compressed air reaches the head part of the handpiece in a small chamber which houses the air turbine
4. In attempt to escape, this compressed air rotates the turbine
5. Through various minute attachments, there is a facility to attach a bur to this turbine
6. When the turbine rotates, the bur also rotates
7. This bur is used for drilling and cutting tooth structures

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