Search the BDA Museum's collection

Applies to: All
Print page
Last reviewed: 11/10/2010
Last updated: 11/10/2010

LDBDA : 5747

dental unit, air rotor

A Borden Alston dental air rotor.

air rotors were developed in the 1950s and used air pressure to turn the burr. Prior to this electricity had been used. Air pressure enabled much greater speeds and the Alston air rotor could achieve 250,000 rpm. This meant less vibration and discomfort for the patient. These speeds generated a lot of heat so the glass container was used to hold water which was sprayed onto the bur to cool it down. The air rotor and water supply was controlled by the dentist using the black plastic foot pedals on the base. A 1959 Dental Manufacturing Company catalogue gives a price of 110 for this air rotor.

Dental Manufacturing Company Ltd circa1959

metal, glass, plastic, rubber; height 1100mm; width 200mm; depth 380mm

Image of dental unit