A dental drill or dentist's 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. A dental drill may also be used in the cleaning and shaping of root canals during endodontic treatment, or to remove old or temporary fillings or crowns prior to the insertion of new or permanent restorations. The term "dental drill" is considered the more colloquial form of the term "dental handpiece," although it can also be construed as to include the power source for one or more handpieces, a "dental engine." "Handpiece" and "engine" are more generic and euphemistic terms for generic dental tools.
Blasting through a decaying tooth to reach a cavity can involve “drilling out healthy parts of a tooth to get to a small area of infection,” says Wayne Flavin, director of scientific affairs for DMG America, a dental-materials company.
Enter Icon, the company's new treatment for early cavities, which works by injecting liquid resin into the tooth. The quick-flowing resin reaches the inner “lattice” of decay faster than traditional metal or composite fillings can.
Once inside the problem spot, it solidifies and stops the cavity from progressing. “Patients love it because there is no anesthetic and no drilling,” says John Rowe, DDS, a dentist in Jonesboro, Arkansas, who has been testing the product for more than a year. Already on the market in Europe, Icon will be widely available in the United States this year.