Dental Handpiece Maintenance: Points You Need To Know

dental handpiece maintenance critical dental australia

The dental handpiece is one of the most commonly used instruments in the dental practice today. Used in every procedure from removing decay during a simple check-up and clean, through to complex oral surgery, proper dental handpiece maintenance is essential.

Unfortunately, one of the major causes of premature instrument failure is insufficient or improper maintenance. While cleaning, lubricating, and sterilising are par for the course, there are also a plethora of other steps which should and need to be taken. Let’s dive in and take a closer look at how dental handpiece maintenance is done!

Set the proper pressure levels

Remember, higher pressure does not equate improved performance. Instead, too much pressure can damage the dental handpiece – particularly the turbine. Therefore, using correct pressure specifications is key. Those specifications should be stated in the user manual, so it’s worth looking them up and/or remembering them.

Use only manufacturer-approved tools

While a pair of pliers may seem like the obvious solution to a small issue, do remember that the wrong tooling could damage your dental handpiece further and/or void your warranty outright. Instead, use only manufacturer-approved tools such as an end cap wrench, or send them to a company which offer dental handpiece maintenance and repair.

Avoid strong chemicals

Often the temptation with handpieces is to use strong chemicals with the idea that it’s better equipped to remove bacteria contained within. The problem with this theory is that it can cause chemical interactions during a standard sterilisation process. Instead, simply wipe the dental handpiece down with warm water or alcohol, before sterilisation. Don’t forget to pay particular attention to the fibre optic glass at the front of the handpiece or inside the back end where it connects with the swivel.

Make use of the drive air port 

When applying lubricant to any dental handpiece make sure you use the smaller of the two holes. Known as the drive air port it’s the only direct path to that all-important turbine. In addition, use sufficient lubrication but don’t use too much otherwise you will have the problem of excessive internal residue. The best way to check that you have enough is to look for the lubricant to appear in the head. Once there, then stop applying any further lubrication.

Eliminate excess oil

For best dental handpiece maintenance, any excess oil should always be cleaned from your dental handpiece, otherwise it can clog up the bearings. For best results, use an air flushing station or run the handpiece for 20-30 seconds while attached to the delivery unit tubing.

Don’t forget the bur

You should always look to ease the tension on a dental handpiece before sterilising, otherwise any springs may weaken during the heating process. To do this, you should remove the bur. Failure to do so can and will shorten the life of your handpiece.

What about the turbine chuck?

If the turbine chuck isn’t removed and cleaned regularly, the bur may slip and stick. Either way, this is not good for your patient. Chucks should be cleaned weekly to maintain an ideal working environment. Use a small interproximal brush dipped in alcohol, insert the brush into the bur tube and gently rotate the brush. Repeat the process until there are no signs of debris on the brush.

dental handpiece instruments dental handpiece maintenance critical dental australiaWhile it’s important to know how to carry out daily, weekly, or monthly dental handpiece maintenance, you also need to know when it’s time to replace parts.

For example, when your turbine is failing, you may experience a feeling of grittiness from the bur when it’s spun between the fingers.

It may also sound different when in use. Or alternatively, it simply doesn’t cut as well as it did, even when using a new bur.

Dental handpiece maintenance – Are you utilising manufacturers parts?

While using manufacturer recommended parts may prevent your warranty from becoming null and void, authentic handpiece manufacturer parts also meet many of the rigid standards needed for ongoing best performance and longevity. For this reason, it’s well worth paying that little extra for your dental handpiece parts, to ensure that you get total peace-of-mind.

Send to a reputable handpiece repair and maintenance company

The vast majority of manufacturers carry out their own dental handpiece maintenance. They have all the proper parts and will always ensure that your dental handpieces remain in tip-top condition. However, the problem comes when you see an ad for cheap handpiece maintenance and repair. You may want to ask yourself why it’s 2-3 times cheaper than when going through a well-known dental handpiece manufacturer or an established dental handpiece repair company.

It could be that they are using inferior parts, or that the fees aren’t inclusive of fault-finding, shipping, and/or labour. Either way, if the handpiece repair or maintenance price is too good to be true, it generally is.

Talk to Critical Dental for your dental handpiece repair or maintenance

Here at Critical Dental, in addition to supplying you with some of the best branded dental handpieces on the market, we also carry out handpiece repair or regular maintenance. This means that you don’t have to ignore that broken handpiece laying in your draw any longer.

We offer a ‘mail-in’ repair service for many of the top dental handpiece brands including Micro, Kavo, Bien Air, Morita, MK Dent, TT Bio, NSK, Sirona, Vector and W&H. Moreover, we use only quality spares including cutting-edge German bearings to ensure your equipment stays in good condition for many years to come. Finally, we also ensure a quick and efficient turnaround time so you won’t be exposed to any costly downtime.

If you require more advice about dental handpiece maintenance or if you are looking for a reliable handpiece repair company, then contact the team at Critical Dental today. As one of the fastest-growing handpiece repair companies in the industry, we assure you of a pleasant experience and a full warranty.

Contact us on (02) 8883 0674 to find out more.

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