The History of Dental Handpiece

As the development of dental technology,dental handpiece has been at its simplest, a marvelous tool that drives the power of air and electricity to provide amazing power, efficiency.Almost everybody who gets in touch with the tool trusts it’s a contraption which comes from the concept of modern medicine.However,it isn’t. Here we’ll show you some milestones about dental handpiece.

1. First evidence of the application of drilling a in dental restoration: Flint

Evidence of the first dental drill used in history came from an archaeological discovery of an Indus Valley Civilization. The remains showed the undeniable use of a form of dental drill used effectively more than 9,000 years ago. Researchers aren’t sure of the exact mechanism that was used at that time, but in slightly more recent ancient times, a bow drill was used for dental procedures. This type of drill is still in use in some parts of the world today, though we hope not for dentistry, but for woodworking and to start fires.

2.Mechanical dental drills – late 18th century

Later revolutions in dental technology, beyond the use of flint, began to varying degrees of success in the 18th and 19th Centuries. Coil-driven drills by James Nasmyth were improved by Charles Merry, which used both coils and cables. George Harrington utilized a clockwork-driven motor for his drills, but still relied on man for power. Harrington’s “Erado” drill was the nerdiest, punny-est of bad dental equipment names – “Erado” means “I scrape out” in Latin. The “Erado” used clockwork to keep it running for up to two minutes, at which point it would require rewinding.

If only he had realized that cuckoo weights and gravity could have helped him power his drill. Not that dentistry in the Victorian era was any sort of laughing matter, as evidenced by this historical image of a woman and her dentist.

Eventually, after several improvements, the power for such machines began to rely on pedals and bellows to produce movement and air pressure. Little known fact – bellows are also part of cuckoo clocks

3.Finally, the first electrical dental handpiece – 1875

A more sophisticated handpiece, was designed by British dentist, George Fellows Harrington in 1864. The device used a clockwork mechanism and was incredibly noisy. He named it Erado. Four years later, in 1868, an American dentist named George F. Greene invented a pedal-powered drill. James B. Morrison invented the first pedal-powered burr drill in 1871, and the aforementioned Dr. Green finally got around to inventing the first electrical drill in 1875, turning the practice of dentistry on its head. By 1914 electrical handpieces were in common use, reaching speeds of up to 3,000 rpm.


4.The modern dental handpiece

The modern dental handpiece as we’d recognize it today, using air rotors, was designed by John Patrick Walsh in New Zealand in 1949. The design has been tinkered, modernized and improved in the intervening years. Today’s dental drills are commonly run at a “high speed” of 400,000 rpms. Today’s tools are designed for precision, power, and efficiency, making dental procedures more pleasant and effective for dentists and patients alike.

Of course, no dental drill is used safely or effectively when it is in need of dental handpiece repair. Proper care and maintenance of a dental drill can prolong its safe usage. If in doubt, dental handpiece repair services can restore a dentist’s favourite tool to its ideal condition, leaving happy dentists and happy patients.