The Electric Dental Drill
Long ago, picks and enamel scissors were the dentists implements of choice to remove decayed tooth tissue. Then dentists began using two-edged cutting tools twirled between the fingers. Primitive drills followed in the 18th and early 19th centuries. American dentist George F. Green in 1868 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. Then, on this date in 1875, Green, who lived in Kalamazoo, Mich., won a U.S. patent for an electrified dental drill, a development that revolutionized dentistry. The first electric dental drill used electromagnetic motors; it worked well but was cumbersome and heavy. Plug-in electric drills were eventually invented 30 years later; by this time, most dentists offices were wired for electricity.
Copyright Aetna InteliHealth, Inc., 2012. All rights reserved.