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Strange Dental Equipment


#1

I went to an estate sale yesterday and saw the strangest stuff a
flexible shaft unit that was foot peddle operated! Like an old
sewing machine, only to be operated while standing up. It was
pulley run. Was this thing for real? Or was it an elaborate
dentist gag gift?

the other thing got my hopes up thinking it might be a
vulcanizer – it was an electric unit with a switch for the
motor and a switch for heat and a lower platen that moved up and
down and a heating element up at the top. Just curious,
dentists out there, what was it?

Thanks,
Elaine
Chicago
US


#2

Elaine, Having had some experience as a Dental Assistant I could
tell you it sounds like an old version of a “slow speed” hand
piece, which is used in the repair of dentures and the
fabrication of acrylic temporaries. I would like to own one of
those. Great for polishing. Hope this helps.

Vera Battemarco


#3

Strange to you, but real enough. During WWII a medical field
unit would have as part of it’s portable equipment, a foot
powered pulley arrangement which rotatated a handpiece held bur,
and this enabled delivery of some rather crude dental procedures
under rather adverse conditions. But it did work! (I never used
it)

The second item was, judging from your description, a

vulcanizer for rubber, which was used in the construction of
dentures. This was before acrylics were used for this.

You know, 50 years from now, the flex shaft we use will in all

probability be looked upon with the same astonishment that you
viewed the above items. JZD


#4

Hi Elaine,

The ‘flexshaft’ that you saw was a foot treadle dental unit
which operates similar to an old Singer sewing machine. This
was state of the art about a zillion years ago. I can still
trace my fear of dentists to a dentist who tied my hands to the
chair while diabolically torturing me with just such an
apparatus!

The other unit that you saw is a vacuum former. Rio sells them
for jewelry. They are used to make a mold of something. A
sheet of plastic is secured in the lower of the 2 raising heads
that rise up above the base which has holes for the vacuum and
upon which you place the model to be duplicated. The top most
part of the unit has a heating element which warms the plastic.
You warm it until the plastic droops substantially and then you
switch on the vacuum and lower the sheet. The machine sucks the
plastic down over the piece and voila’! You have a mold of
whatever it is that you put on the base.

Regards,
Skip

Skip Meister
@Skip_Meister
Orchid Jewelry Listserve Member
N.R.A. Endowment &
Certified Instructor
in all disciplines
Certified Illinois D.N.R.
Hunter Ed, Instructor
ICQ 37319071


#5

HI! From Pat DIACCA Topp, my husband who just retired from
dentistry had an Uncle who was a dentist. This "contraption"
yes, was a drill. We have one that was his uncle’s. It was used
as a portable unit and could be set up anywhere. Regards, Pat


#6

Hi Elaine- The flexshaft that you saw is for real! My Dad was a
dental tech at home after hours in the 50’s . He had one that I
used to play with. It was old then( probably the 20’s ) My Dads
was rather ornate.Thanks for the memory, I hadn’t thought of
that for years.

Thanks
Carol
Tempe


#7

From your comments about the equipment you date yourself
dear… young(ish). It is a for real item, in fact they are
still made for use in production facilities (dental plates,
crowns, other tooth stuff and diemaking etc…). These usits
have a great deal of power compaired to many of the flex shafts,
cause less opeator fatigue, offer numerous handles and power
heads, etc. I know these are still made these days as there is
a small (20-+ employees) manufacturer near here (Wells Machining)
making these items. They also make other powered units, again
mostly for the world wide dental equipment market. Todays
dentists use the turbine drills as they produce less heat and
vibration which make them more comfortable for us patients, but
for real material removal, they have their place but also have
their limitations. If the unit works and is still available,
you may do well getting it for your bench (in addition to your
other power tools of course).

John (I guess I sure dated MYSELF with this reply too!!! old{ish})

John Dach and Cynthia Thomas-Dach
MidLife Crisis EnterprisesJohn and Cynthia/MidLife Crisis Enterprises
Maiden Metals/C. T. Designs/Dach Ranch/etc.
http://www.pacific.net/~mlce/ctdesigns/


#8

Hi, I use an old Wells Quick chuck for carving I got
the machine used and would love to be able to contact the maker.
If you have the address please post it.

thanks
cutter12


#9
   I use an old Wells Quick chuck for carving I got
the machine used and would love to be able to contact the
maker. If you have the address please post it. 

Glad to, here it is:

	Wells Dental Inc.
	5860 Flynn Creek Rd.
	Comptche, CA  95427
	707-937-0521

Talk and ask as you wish but get their catalog. Great deals on
some very nice carbide burrs…

Good hunting.

John Dach

John Dach and Cynthia Thomas-Dach
MidLife Crisis EnterprisesJohn and Cynthia/MidLife Crisis Enterprises
Maiden Metals/C. T. Designs/Dach Ranch/etc.
http://www.pacific.net/~mlce/ctdesigns/