As the scope of dental procedures evolve, so does the need for efficiency and precision. The dental high speed handpiece has been and will continue to be extremely vital for the clinical side of everyday dentistry. Many of the advancements in treatment are framed around the abilities of the high speed handpiece.
As necessary as they are, not only can they can carry a hefty price tag, but require the proper care to keep them running in optimal conditions to perform at their best.
Below is a list of 10 things to avoid with your high speed dental handpiece during routine maintenance.
1. Do not use any type of chemicals to wipe down your handpiece before sterilization
You cannot just wipe down your handpiece, it requires sterilization. It doesn’t make sense to wipe it down. Additionally, chemicals can have harmful reactions with heat during the sterilization cycle and cause damage to your handpiece.
2. Do not use an ultrasonic cleaner
Your handpiece should never be immersed into any fluids or liquids.
3. Do not run under faucet with the back end facing up
While many manufacturers will instruct you to run you handpiece under running water to clean the outside surface, it is important to make sure that the connecting ports are always facing downward to avoid water from entering the air lines and damaging the turbine.
4. Do not lubricate all holes
The air tube is the only one the needs to be lubricated. Adding oil to the incorrect hole will result in improper or no lubrication to the turbine.
5. Make sure you expel excess oils
It is important to run the handpiece after adding oil. Failure to do so can result in oil gumming up in turbine during sterilization thus causing premature failure.
6. Do not operate handpiece without a bur
It is important that a bur is inserted while flushing excess oil. Failure to do so can result in damage to the spindle chuck assembly causing burs to slip out during procedures.
7. Do not sterilize handpiece with bur inserted
The springs in the chuck are under pressure when holding the bur. Leaving the bur in place during the extreme heat of sterilization will weaken the springs resulting in damage to the chuck.
8. Do not exceed 275º F (135º C) in autoclave or chemiclave.
9. Do not remove handpiece from sterilization pack before end of cycle
Handpiece should be left in sterilizer until cycle is completed to allow packet to fully dry.
10. No need to re-lubricate immediately after sterilization
These tips will not prevent the need for repairs, the only thing that will do that is not using your handpiece. These tips are put in place to help you extend the life expectancy and prolong the need to repair or replace you handpieces. Always remember to follow manufactures instructions. You can always refer to your local handpiece repair specialist for additional support and expertise.