In recent years, technology has undergone some incredible advancements. This includes advancements in dental technology. All of these developments have been made to greatly improve your comfort, your quality of care, and your results. One of the most important tools we have at our disposal is a handpiece, commonly called a dental drill. This tool allows us to perform a variety of different tasks, including cavity preparation and tooth polishing. While these tools are important, they can also trigger much fear. At Pacific Modern Dentistry, electronic handpieces provide some significant benefits that make your treatment much easier and much less stressful.
What Is an Electronic Handpiece?
An electronic handpiece also called an electric handpiece, or an electric drill is an essential tool in the dental office. The tool, which is powered by electricity, is made to accommodate different heads, which allows us to perform several different types of procedures, including polishing, drilling, and cutting. An electronic handpiece can operate at several different speeds, which we can specifically set, enabling us to easily perform these tasks.
Early Dental Handpieces
Dental handpieces have been around for hundreds of years. The earliest types of dental handpieces operated at low speeds. They were also quite painful, as there was no dental anesthesia at the time. The first breakthrough in dental handpiece technology came in 1864. A British dentist invented the first mechanized dental drill, the clockwork drill. While faster than older types of drills, it was exceptionally noisy and had to be wound many times. In 1868, an American dentist patented a pneumatic dental drill, which was powered by a pedal operated bellow. Just a few years later, the pedal-powered drill was developed.
The Development of the Electronic Handpiece
In 1875, the first-ever electric dental handpiece was developed. This type of handpiece could attain incredible RPMs and maintain them indefinitely. By 1914, electric handpieces were operating at speeds of 3,000 RPMs, and those RPMs doubled by the 1950s. During this time, the handpieces were powered by an air turbine, or compressed air, using a foot pedal. While they revolutionized dental care, they were very noisy. The noise they created could trigger anxiety or fear, causing patients to avoid dental care.
Over time, air driven handpieces were replaced with handpieces that operate completely on electricity. These handpieces operate at incredible speeds that we can easily adjust based on your specific procedure. They can be used to polish teeth, drill away decay, and prepare teeth for dental restorations.
Benefits of Electronic Handpieces
There are many benefits to electronic handpieces, including:
With an electronic handpiece, we can help to optimize your oral care in a much more comfortable and stress-free manner. For more information on our electronic handpieces, call Pacific Modern Dentistry at (206)284-4505 today.