Proper Care of High Speed Handpieces

High speed handpieces are complex pieces of machinery with many small components that can be subject to a lot of wear and tear. This is especially true in a very busy dental practice. While they will eventually wear out and need to be replaced or repaired, there are some things you can do to prolong the life of this equipment.

Take Care to Clean Properly

In a successful dental practice, high speed handpiece repair or replacement is inevitable, but sometimes harsh chemicals can corrode or otherwise degrade fragile equipment parts, needlessly hastening the process. One of the most common mistakes made by dental practitioners is using disinfectants to wipe off equipment before sterilization.

All that is usually necessary is to wipe off the handpiece with a damp cloth before sterilizing. Use of a mild detergent is acceptable. If needed, the handpiece can be held under running water with use of a soft brush to remove any particulate matter. However, immersion in water or any other liquid could damage the equipment. The handpiece should be dried thoroughly with a paper towel, gauze, or by using an air syringe.

Use Proper Air Pressure

Excessive air pressure could damage the tiny bearings of a high speed handpiece, possibly causing it to malfunction. Generally, any speed greater than 40 psi can be risky for the fragile components, but it is good practice to refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Apply Lubricant Liberally

Lubricant ensures that important parts of the handpiece stay protected from degradation. High speed handpieces should be lubricated frequently, with excess lubricant removed to prevent the handpiece from running sluggishly. Lubrication should be done before sterilizing the equipment.

High speed handpieces are high-performance, intricate pieces of dental equipment. With proper care and routine maintenance, the life of these important instruments could be greatly prolonged.

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