Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Dental Drill - OMG, the pain!

foot powered dental drill

My teeth hurt a little bit just reading about this. The first dental drills were hand cranked. Just imagine a dentist trying to drill a tooth using a drill the same way you might use a hand turned egg beater. I saw Dances With Wolves and the way that they cut off limbs without any anesthetic. Imagine someone doing that, but for teeth. I'll bet they had people hold that poor sucker down while he screamed in agony. Oof! You might want to take a deep breath.

Dentistry actually goes back much farther than that though. There is evidence that in 7000 BC the Indus Valley Civilization (now known as India and Pakistan) drilled cavities using a bow drill. This seems like an astonishing modern thing to do. I always assumed that back then they'd just yank out the tooth if it hurt.

A bow drill wouldn't spin particularly fast though. The slower the speed, the longer the suffering lasts. In 1914 electric dental drills could reach 3000 rpm. Modern drills operate between 400,000 and 800,000 rpm.

That seems like a lot. 800,000 rpm is 13,333 rotations per second. If you're watching TV while the dentist bores into your teeth, in the time it takes for a single frame to display on the TV, the drill has rotated between 200 and 300 times.


1 comment:

  1. My son had dental treatment at Hummingbird Dental "the Best dentist in Richmond Hill" and I'm happy to say that he is no longer afraid of dentists. Dr. Behrooz and his staff were very kind and professional, I'm extremely happy with the service. Highly recommend this clinic!

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