Podiatry nail drills, also known as dust extraction, spray or dry drills are devices commonly used by podiatrists, chiropodists and foot health practitioners for routine foot nail care.
Treatments, such as reducing the thickness of onychauxic nail plates, callus removal and enucleation of corns. In this introduction I look at the two common types of drills.
Both dust extraction and spray drills are widely used in private practice and NHS podiatry environments and if used correctly are considered a quicker, safer and more convenient way of working.
“Both podiatry dust extraction and spray drills are a way of controlling potentially harmful nail and skin dust from being inhaled in by both patient and practitioner”
What are dust extraction drills?
As the name suggests, dust extraction drills operate in a similar way to traditional vacuum cleaners and work by removing the dust and debris generated by a burr or abrasive cap by means of a small vacuum unit attached to the end of a hand piece.
Dust extraction drills have a tube either running along the side or top of the drill hand piece, the dust travels along this before being collected in a main unit in a paper or fiber dust bag.
Much the same as you would get with your household a vacuum cleaner, only smaller! the bag would need to be changed regularly to maintain effective suction.
What are Podiatry spray drills?
Spray drills emit a fine mist of water which cools and wets the area you’re working on.
The “sludge” for want of a better word, would need to be cleared up with either paper towel or collected in a debris tray of some sort.
The level on spray drills can usually be controlled so the area doesn’t become too wet.
Podiatry spray drills do not extract but work by spraying a fine mist of water contained in a reservoir in the main unit, from the end of the hand piece onto the area you’re working on.
What are Dom drills?
Dom or domiciliary drills are podiatry drills used by visiting podiatrists for treating patients in their own homes.
They are essentially the same as surgery based drills although domiciliary practitioners tend to favour the smaller drills to avoid having to carry around too much equipment.
There are several battery operated drills on the market such as the Hadewe Xantos and Berchtold S14 which are small and lightweight with good battery life.
The only downside is that they don’t have dust extraction or spray and are only recommended for light use.
Which is better dust extraction or spray?
Both methods are considered effective at keeping dust to a minimum thus reducing the potential inhalation risk to both the practitioner and the patient.
The problem is that podiatry drills are only as good as they are maintained, it is still recommended to wear a dust mask when using either devices.
Can anybody use podiatry nail drills?
It is not recommended that members of the public try using podiatry nail drills on themselves, it does take a degree of training and experience to use them.
Podiatrists usually undergo a large amount of practical training and work experience to use drills safely. Click the following link for more information about NHS podiatry treatment.
Which are the good brands of Podiatry drills
There are many makes and models of podiatry nail drills available in the UK.
Some of the popular well known brand names include, Berchtold, Hadewe, Evo, Nova & Suda.
Contact your Podiatry supplier to discuss the ranges they have available.
If you have any experience using podiatry nail drills which you think our readers would be interested in, please leave a comment below.