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Dental treadle drill, England, 1890-1940

The foot pedal is pushed up and down to power this dental drill. It is also known as a ‘treadle drill’. The drill removed areas of tooth decay. These can become infected and painful if untreated. The treadle drill was invented in 1871 by American dentist James Beall Morrison (1829-1917). He also designed dental chairs. His drill was popular with dentists throughout Europe and America. It is an example of the first mechanically powered drill. These sped up dental treatments.

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    Glossary: treadle drill

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    Glossary: dentistry

    The study, treatment and management of diseases affecting the mouth, jaws, gums, teeth and their supporting tissues.