Stone age man used flakes of flint to excavate cavities. A 14,000 skeleton from Italy’s Dolomite mountains was found in 1988, to have cavities which had been excavated using a microlith. (Source University of Bologna).

Frayer found drill holes made by a flint tip in 11 molars from a 9,000 year old graveyard in Pakistan. (Source University of Kansas) it is thought that bow drills were used.

The use of finger drills and bow drills continued until 1864 when a British dentist George Fellowes Harrington invented a clockwork drill he called “Erado” which in Latin means to scrape out. Noisy and needing to be frequently wound up, others took on the challenge.

An American George F. Green in 1868 patented a bellows driven drill, followed by a pedal powered drill invented by James B. Morrison in 1871.

Green hit back and presented the first ever electricity powered dental drill, this meant that continuous treatment was now possible. By the first world war rotational speeds of 3,000rpm were possible.

In Berlin, 1890 W & H was founded and started making straight and contra angle handpieces. Again Germany KaVo is founded in 1909. In 1928, they produce the first sterilisable handpiece.

W & H in 1925 produce the first push button chuck, there was a series of continued small improvement such that by 1950 the speeds were now at above 6,500 rpm!

It was back to America, it was now the jet age. A Washington dentist John Borden filed a patent in 1957 for a handpiece he called the Airotor, which now could run at speeds of 250,000 rpm – a quantum leap. The Mid West company, now part of Dentsply, took the basic two hole Borden fitting modified it to today’s ISO standard 4/5 hole so that oil and water would not blow onto the dentists hands.

Meanwhile in Japan 1953 the Nakanishi Manufacturing company decides to make Doriot handpieces first patented in 1893! This copy cat company was eventually become NSK a brand that made good reliable “me too” products at a lower price.

“Well let’s face it what would you choose to drive a Mercedes or a big Toyota dressed up as a Lexus?”

Introdent imports good functional quality handpieces that sell at bread and butter prices. We dont spend £££’s on Advertising, which means you dont pay to be convinced that a Japanese product matches German engineering. All our products are supplied from reliable sources with correct certification and CE marking.

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