Your dentist tells you that you have a cavity and need a filling. What is the first thing that comes to your mind? We would venture to guess that the answer is the drill!
That “whir, whir, whir” sound of the dentist’s drill is a fixture in many patients’ memories. And research shows that just hearing that sound induces anxiety for some people. So if dentists have a way to minimize that noise, why wouldn’t they?
This is one reason why in our practice we use an electric drill instead of the commonly used air-driven type. Not only are they quieter, electric drills are softer on the teeth. Dentists don’t have to use as much pressure. This reduces post-procedure sensitivity for the patient.
Why do dentists use a drill, anyway? When you have a cavity, it is necessary to cut through the enamel to remove all the plaque and decay from the tooth before a filling can be applied. This process also creates the appropriate amount of space to accommodate the filling. By using an electric drill, this is accomplished with less noise and vibration, thus minimizing the jarring, cringe-inducing sensation that some patients experience. An electric drill is also faster and more precise, consistent and efficient. It doesn’t slow down or stall out; instead, it cuts continuously with sustained torque.
“By using an electric drill, this is accomplished with less noise and vibration, thus minimizing the jarring, cringe-inducing sensation that some patients experience.”
Electric drills are popular in Europe and other parts of the world, but in North America, most dentists use air-driven drills. However, more practices in the United States, such as ours, are adopting them.
So if you need a filling, it might be beneficial to ask what type of drill your dentist uses and how it would affect your experience, particularly if you have dental anxiety.
Contact us to learn more about the electric drill and other state-of-the-art equipment we use in our office, if you have any questions about fillings or other procedures, or to schedule an appointment.