The Key to Dental Drill Repair? Knowing How It’s Made
One of the keys to understanding dental drill repair is to understand how handpieces are made, what they are made out of, and how the technology and manufacturing behind these devices continues to evolve. From evidence of teeth having been drilled into over 9,000 years ago in Pakistan, to hand-spun drills used by the Mayans closer to 1,000 years ago, the science behind these tools has had a long time to develop into what it is today. The modern dental handpiece uses air turbines or electric motors to achieve speeds that would make the dentists of yesteryear’s heads spin (pun not intended), along with high-tech components made of steel, titanium, ceramic, tungsten carbide, and even diamonds. So what goes into building a new drill?
Turbines and Engines
High-speed handpieces use an air-driven turbine to reach speeds of up to 400,000 RPM. An electric motor is used in low-speed models, although since it provides more torque, low-speed electric models actually produce more cutting power than high-speed air models. Both have traditionally been constructed with a complex network of steel parts, though more recently manufacturers have been embracing ceramic bearings. Ceramic bearings are significantly lighter in weight, produce less heat, and don’t need as much lubrication—not to mention they are actually stronger than their steel counterparts!
The burr is the dental drill’s analogue to a power drill’s bit—the piece used at the business end to shape and cut the tooth. And like with a power drill, there are many different kinds of drills produced for different purposes. Today’s burrs are made of tungsten carbide, an incredibly tough and durable metal with physical properties ideal for high-speed applications. Some are simply curved to help shape the tooth, while others have blades or even diamond grit to make them more proficient at cutting and sanding the tooth. A qualified dental drill repair specialist will carry all the burrs you need.
The outer shell of the handpiece—the part that you will actually hold—has to meet a lot of expectations. It needs to have an ergonomic grip so that you can use it for extended periods with ease. It needs to be able to house the internal components, simultaneously standing up to the rigours of use and protecting the components within. Various materials are used in the handpiece, which are commonly injection-molded into the desired shape. They may also be made with special built-in features, like a specially-angled head for particular applications, cutting-edge exhaust ports, and solid glass fiber optics.
Only by working with experts trained and experienced in dental drill repair will you reap the benefits of a functioning knowledge of the components and parts that make it work. This is the expertise that makes the difference for a long-lasting investment in your dental drill.