Whether you prefer using high-speed handpieces or low-speed handpieces, all dental equipment should be carefully taken care of. Ever specialist wants his dental instruments to serve longer and keep their functionality at the highest level. We prepared twelve tips to extend the life of your handpiece.
- Never wipe down a handpiece with a chemical disinfectant. When heated, the chemicals may react with the metal shell causing a buildup and corrosion. This action will shorten the lifespan of the dental instrument and you’ll have to change it’s elements more often than needed with appropriate care.
- Always apply a sufficient amount of cleaner/lubricant. The cleaner/lubricant should come out of the head of the handpiece to ensure all the dental bearings have been conscientiously covered with the lubricant. Don’t forget to also avoid the excess of lubricant.
- Double-check you are lubricating the right places – like the drive airline. This is augmented by the fact that only the drive air hole goes to the turbine. Lubricating the wrong hole will result in incorrect turbine lubrication, and, thus, wrong work of your dental equipment.
- Always check the recommendations from the manufacturer and use the correct cleaner/lubricant, with the corresponding nozzles and expelling maintenance couplers/adapters.
- In order to remove any excess debris, properly clean the chuck at least once a week to ensure the proper work of the mechanism, holding the bur. Through this procedure, you’ll make sure the bur does not come out during a procedure on a patient.
- Don’t take into account unofficial recommendation – never place the handpiece in the ultrasonic cleaner, unless the manufacturer has a recommended product. The handpiece should never be immersed in any liquid – damage may occur easily.
- Always properly clean the fibre optic/LED lens, especially after use, but as a preventive measure, too (once in a while it’s useful, even if the dental equipment hasn’t been used). It’s important to run under water and gently wipe with a sponge to remove all outer debris, after each and single use on a patient. Ignoring this procedure will create a buildup on the lens and poor light quality. Embedded debris can also be removed, using a cotton swab and isopropyl alcohol.
- Remove the bur when cleaning and lubricating, because the bur in the chuck while lubricating prevents the lubricant from flowing where it needs to go to ensure proper coverage of the dental bearings. It’s not the case to do so, only if the handpiece utilizes a wrench-activated chuck. Also, remove all burs prior to sterilization. In the autoclave, during the process of sterilization, the springs in the chuck are compressed. The high temperatures will cause these compressed springs to weaken under tension. Debris can also accumulate around the chuck, causing it to corrode and shorten the life of the dental instrument.
- Make a rule to expel excess lubricant, after lubricating and before autoclaving, by running the handpiece for at least 5 seconds. This part is vital. If the handpiece isn’t run to expel the lubricant, it can cause a gumming effect around the turbine where it will be essentially baked in. The excess lubricant will come out during the first use after autoclaving.
- Let the handpiece cool down by itself. Remember to never run the handpiece under cold water to quickly cool it off. This damages the turbine almost ever time, it’s better to let it cool in normal conditions.
- Always pay attention to the manufacturer’s guidelines on air pressure and follow them strictly, as excessive air pressure could cause damage to the turbine bearings.
- Always maintain a properly working autoclave. It’s important for the quality of your dental equipment, and for the health of your patients, at the same time.
If you’ll make sure to learn these tips and educate your crew to use them, too, your handpiece will serve you for a long time.