High Speed Drilling

American Academy of Biological Dentistry – Carmel Valley, May 6-9 1987
Iatrogenic Damage Due to High speed Drilling by Dr. Ralph Turk, DDS Germany
“The industry has propagated the ergonomic advantages of this high-speed drills, constantly developing and more functions; without long-term clinical, histological or pathological monitoring of the effects of turbines in general, the entire dental profession, including universities, has adopted these diabolical machines.”

Reports by the WHO on the increase in chronic diseases are alarming!

According to them, these diseases have increased threefold over recent years alone. Environmental and civilization damage, such as stress, faulty diet, narcotics, alcohol, etc., also play a part in the figures given by these statistics. Even if stress, stimulants and habit-forming luxuries have increased, this still is not sufficient explanation for the immense rise in the number of persons affected. Especially as cited both by the cheap press and more serious publications, many people are trying to keep fit through physical training and reasonable nourishment.

These efforts on the one hand and the increasing consumption in stimulants plus the accompanying stress on the other should, viewed statistically, balance each other out. If, in spite of this, such a horrendous increase in chronic diseases can be observed then WE, as physicians and dental specialists, are called to check whether our professional operations do not also contribute to the fact that the number of chronically affected persons is increasing to such a devastating extent through the provocation of focal conditions. Every medical discipline has its inherent capacity to cause iatrogenic damage.

The dental field covers such a wide range that I am not able to report on all forms of iatrogenic damage. I would like you to think merely of the sequels of erroneous articulations, reflected, or incorrectly performed, maxillary regulation, as well as badly fitted dentures or prostheses, fillings which are too high causing premature contact, fillings or pulp protection resulting in slow modification of the pulp, or mouth voltages produced by using different metals or alloys etc.. All these forms of istrogenic damage can result in severe negative effects on the general health of the patient.

I would like to encourage thought about forms of damage which have not been taken in sufficient consideration up to now, or those that might have been noticed, but have been deliberately ignored.

In the context of dental surgery, the primary and, indeed, principal consideration is the dental turbine or motor. In my opinion and also, that of several university clinics, this should be considered as a sort of time bomb! It’s devastating effects, have been completely underestimated by most of our colleagues.

The industry has propagated the ergonomic advantages of this high-speed drills, constantly developing and more functions; and without long-term clinical, histological or pathological monitoring of the effects of turbines in general, the entire dental profession, including universities, has adopted these diabolical machines.

How do turbines cause damage?

1. In the effects of grinding and drilling burs on the tooth enamel. The turbine does not grind down in the manner of slower machines, but rather breaks up the enamel prisims by impact, not only on the edes of cavities and preparations but also far down into the enamel supposed to remain intact: this has been proved by samples recorded through electron microscope. The cracks thus caused not only allow bacterial toxins but also the bacteria themselves and macromolecules to pass and penetrate in the dentine. This encourages caries.

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