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Definition of Dental drill

Dental drill: is a small, high-speed drill used during dental procedures, usually to remove decay and shape tooth structure prior to the insertion of a filling or crown. Also know as a dental handpiece.

Primitive dental drills were used in the 18th and early 19th centuries. In 1868, American dentist George F. Green added power to the drill with a pneumatic version run by a pedal-powered bellows. In 1871, dentist James B. Morrison added pedal power to a bur drill. And in 1875, Dr. Green patented an electrified dental drill. This development revolutionized dentistry.

Dr. Green's pioneering electric drill used an electromagnetic motor. It worked well but was quite cumbersome. Just after the turn of the 20th century, most dentists' offices came to be wired for electricity. Plug-in electric drills were invented and became standard.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=16046
Last Editorial Review: 9/20/2012

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