How a Dental Drill Works
Where There Is No Dentist 2012 157
Even if you have the equipment, it is essential that you learn how to make
permanent fillings from a person who has experience using a dental drill.
The tip of the drill (drill bit) is
sharp. Some drills spray water on
the tooth to keep it cool. Cooling
is especially important with a
slower treadle-powered drill. An
assistant can spray water on the
tooth if the drill does not have a
As the drill bit moves slowly back and forth, it opens the cavity further. This
makes it easier to see all of the decay. The decay is later removed with a
spoon instrument (page145).
The drill bit also changes the shape of the cavity. The hole in the tooth is
shaped so that it will keep the permanent filling material in place.
The filling material, which is made
of metal or plastic, must be very
strong. It must not break apart
when the person chews food or
when saliva washes over it.
Unfortunately, the best kinds of
filling material often require special
instruments to prepare and place
them in the cavity.