Endodontics or endodontology is a specialist area of dentistry. The most common procedure is the root canal treatment that a tooth receives in the case of inflamed pulp (also known as the "dental nerve"). Many of you will have experienced this procedure at first hand: The dentist removes the "nerve", cleans the root canal and then fills it. This treatment requires extreme care and is by no means simple because the tooth is to be preserved and the patient must then remain free of pain for as long as possible. New knowledge, methods and systems now ensure that difficult root canal treatment procedures can today be performed successfully and with minimal discomfort for the patient. Modern drive technology has made a significant contribution to this. FAULHABER micro dc motors are the driving force of new endodontics systems that are today becoming more common in dental practices.
Successful treatment of the dental root requires great expertise, special technical equipment, special instruments and materials, a great deal of time and a high degree of manual dexterity from the treating dentist. The pulp tissue has to be completely removed from the root canal, together with any bacteria and necrotic material. The canal walls must be treated uniformly without changing their shape and form and without excessive weakening of the root so that the filling remains in place for as long as possible. If these steps are performed to optimum effect, teeth which not long ago would otherwise have to be removed can today be saved.
Quiet technology that fits well in the hand
Modern automation technology has also contributed to progress made in endodontics. A good example of this is the endo motor system TCM Endo R11 that has been developed by Nouvag AG based in Goldach (CH) on Lake Constance. The elegant, extremely compact and user-friendly instrument makes the careful cleaning and treatment of the root canal easier for the dentist and therefore makes a decisive contribution to the success of the procedure.
Essentially, the new system consists of three components: the controller unit which has a clearly structured display that shows the treating dentist all the important information, a foot pedal that functions as the ON and OFF switch, and the hand unit. The latter comprises the handpiece with drive unit and an angled section with replaceable dental mills which is driven by the drive unit and allows ergonomic work even in inaccessible places.
The perfect drive: small, powerful and quiet
Finding a suitable drive for the handpiece proved to be quite difficult. Principal requirements were not only compact dimensions but also a torque of 1 to 5 mNm in the speed range from 60 to 500 rpm. Lowvibration and quiet operation were of course also desirable in order to permit precise and concentrated work and to eliminate any unpleasant noise for the dentist and patient during treatment. Gearhead noises were therefore also to be avoided. Since the dentist works in the oral cavity, noise and vibrations are transmitted directly into the auditory canal, can therefore be heard very clearly by the patient and often evoke negative associations.
It's no wonder therefore that micro dc motors from the FAULHABER range with their smooth-running and low-noise operating characteristics have proven to be particularly suitable for this field of application. With a diameter of 15 mm and a length of just 24 mm, the 1524 series micro dc motors used in the handpieces of the endo system were easy to integrate. Thanks to their high power density, the motors are not only compact but also light. They weigh just 18 g, which is another positive feature for this particular application. After all, the system is to ensure precise, fatigue-free operation even in the case of prolonged treatment periods or if a large number of patients are treated during the course of one day. The micro dc motor is combined with a two-stage and extremely quiet spur gearhead which has a reduction ratio of 11.9:1. Together with the motor, the drive unit measures just 33 mm in length.
Low inertia and cogging-free operation
FAULHABER micro dc motors differ from other types mainly with regard to their design: Their rotor does not consist of a laminated sheet package but instead of a self-supporting, skew-wound copper coil. This rotor, which is referred to as a bell-type armature, therefore has a very low weight and boasts an extremely low inertia and cogging-free movement. As a result, the motors provide a high dynamic performance and precise speed control. Owing to their low contact resistance, the precious-metal commutation systems have also proven ideal for low-power motors. Furthermore, thanks to their linear characteristics, the DC-micromotors are easy to control. It was possible to integrate the corresponding actuation unit easily in the drive electronics of the endodontics system.
FAULHABER micro dc motors have in the meantime been tried and tested in the new endodontics systems. Since the middle of 2014, both dentists and patients have benefited from this effective treatment of dental root disease.