A Piece of Technology Whose Time May Not Have Come
The dental drill in many offices, including our own, are air turbines. The only moving parts are in the head of the drill. The handle is merely a covering over metal tubing that feeds air into the turbine and water to cool the drill. The drill never overheats and is safe. If the cutting load is too heavy, the drill simply stalls as the torque on the drill cannot overcome the load
A new technology that is becoming popular is the electric dental drill. The electric motor is small but extremely powerful. The drills are capable of providing enormous torque and cutting power. A cutting load that would simply stall an air turbine causes the electric turbine to simply work harder. This generates enormous heat as the motor labors. The problem is that, as dentists work, the handle of the drill often comes into prolonged contact with the lips or the cheek. There have been a number of incidents of patients suffering serious burns from the heat of the drills! As they are often anesthetized, patients are not aware that they are suffering injury until after their procedure is complete.