A dental practice today can be a busy and demanding place. The dental handpiece is the workhorse of any dental practice. It is a precision instrument designed to bring years of service to the practice when properly cared for. Proper care includes following the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning, lubricating and autoclaving your dental handpiece. Listed below are a few tips to improve the performance of dental handpieces.
- Air Pressure: You should not exceed 35 PSI for high speed and 45 PSI for low speed handpieces. Increasing the air pressure will not improve the performance of dental handpieces, and will cause damage to the turbine and the overall performance.
- Cleaning is Essential: Handpiece manufacturers recommend that all dental handpieces be cleaned before sterilization. This includes low speed or prophy handpieces to straight attachments/nosecones, contra angles attachments and heads. It’s important to use a mild germicidal detergent or handpiece cleaner, which are both available in today’s marketplace. You should also use a soft brush or cloth to clean the exterior shell of the instrument that focuses on the handpiece head, grip and lower threads. Don’t forget to always remove the bur of any handpiece before sterilization.
- Lubricate Before Sterilization: You should always lubricate your handpieces prior to sterilization. Once lubricated, it is important to connect the handpiece to an air supply and operate for 30 seconds to expel all excess lubricant. You must wipe all excess lubricant with a soft cloth. Make sure to detach the nosecone, contra angles, and heads and lubricate separately.
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