Handpiece Maintenance Tips

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Debris

    • Introduced into the handpiece through dirty air and water every time air pressure is released.
    • The best way to remove it is to flush the handpiece between patients using a handpiece cleaner and lubricant.
    • Blow out the handpiece using compressed air to remove loose debris, cleaner, and lubricant before sterilization (a handpiece should never be run without a bur!).
       

 

Air Pressure

  • Excessive air pressure (exceeding 40 PSI) could cause damage to turbine bearings, reducing the performance of the turbine.
  • When handpiece performance is reduced at 35 PSI the turbine should be rebuilt or replaced.

 

Sterilization Tips

  • Never exceed 275ºF (135ºC) during the sterilization cycle; use the lowest temperature possible while still achieving proper sterilization of instruments.
  • Subjecting bearings to higher temperatures can cause the materials to break down and crack.
  • Handpieces should only be used at room temperature, not hot.
  • Never cool handpieces under cold running water; quick cool downs are bad for turbine components.
  • If sterilizers are not maintained properly, excessive debris will bake onto the turbine and result in premature failure.
  • Never use a dry heat sterilizer; the excessive heat will damage bearings.

 

Air and Water Supplies

  • Must remain free of debris.
  • Filters should be used and checked often.
  • Compressor oils and carbons must be filtered from the air supply.
  • An air dryer should also be used and maintained as required.

 

Push Button Spindle Maintenance

  • Push button spindles are made of metal components and require small amounts of lubricant and periodic flushing for an extended life span.
  • Use a handpiece cleaner or combination cleaner/ lubricant (lubricating alone is not enough).
  • Spray handpiece cleaner and lubricant up into the front of the spindle; an adapter may be required.

 

  • Then flush the handpiece to remove debris from the handpiece head that has been introduced from flushing the spindle.
  • Doing this will help remove debris from within the spindle assembly, which will prevent the spindle from sticking open or failing.

 

Lube Free or Maintenance Free Turbines (Beware)

  • Only the bearings are maintenance free!
  • The bearings are pre-greased at the factory and shielded to help protect them from debris and the removal of lubricants during use.
  • Other turbine components still need to be maintained; O-rings will dry out without lubricants and push button spindles require lubrication and flushing.

 

Ask the Doctor:

  1. When was the last time you changed your filters?
     
  2. What do you use to clean your handpieces?
     (Disinfectants are not allowed, dry heat sterilizers are bad too.)
     
  3.  Where do you spray lubricant?
    (Offices often are lubricating wrong holes, so no lube is getting where it needs to be.)
     
  4.  How often do you use a handpiece cleaner in the chuck? 
    (Probably never.)
     
  5. At what air pressure do you run your handpieces?
    (Many dentists believe more pressure means faster preps, but it is not true.)
     
  6. Do you elongate the bur, i.e, not put the bur all the way in the chuck to get deeper access?
    (Sell them surgical length burs or they will be replacing turbines often.)