October 18, 2021

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When To Use Each Type of Dental Drill

A dental drill is a device that was developed to perform many different procedures, such as removing any decay, performing cosmetic adjustments, polishing fillings, and altering prosthetics. It consists of many internal parts, such as a dental turbine, the shaft, and the cutting instrument or burr. Based on the specific features and how the internal parts work, drills are put into different categories. These are the different speeds and when each one would be used in a dental office. 

High-Speed

High-speed drills spin at more than 180,000 RPMs. These devices operate with forced air. Because of how fast the air is forced into the handpiece, the drills begin spinning this fast immediately. That turns the burr or cutting implement at very high speeds. Generally, this device will be chosen if a well-balanced device is needed for rotation or pecking with a friction grip burr and variable torque is acceptable. 

Speed-Increasing

High-speed electric motors do not begin spinning at such a high speed. This is because the electricity needs to reach the gears and get them started moving. Therefore, any electric-powered drills that operate at over 180,000 RPMs are called speed-increasing devices. This device is the go-to choice anytime constant torque is needed for rotations with a friction grip burr, and a bulky, heavy head is acceptable. 

Slow-Speed

These drills that are powered by motors operate at a much slower rate. Typically, they operate anywhere from 600 to 25,000 RPMs. Internally, they are very similar to a speed-increasing drill. The primary difference is that this device can use either a latch or friction grip burr. This makes them the first choice for removing cavities, polishing enamel, and working with prosthetics. Slow-speed drills are the most common in a standard dentist’s office. 

Speed-Decreasing

Speed-decreasing handpieces are virtually the same thing, although they operate at even slower speeds. These are used for endodontic canal preparation, prophylaxis, and implant placement. They are used for endodontic canal preparation because of the lower torque. Too much torque can cause complications during this procedure. Additionally, they are used during implant placements because they reduce the amount of heat produced and protect the bone from excess damage. Finally, they are used in preventative cleaning and other prophylaxis treatments because they produce less heat and present less risk of burns for patients. 

Over the years, a variety of dental drills have been developed. Which one is used depends on the speed of the turbines and what procedure is being performed.