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Dental Handpiece Maintenance Guide With drill and chuck

Author:ORAL-E   Post time:2011-05-11

Over the years I have seen many web pages and read many articles on high-speed handpiece maintenance. Most are very similar, however as I talk to dentists and hygienists I am finding varied methods of maintenance. It is my intention to offer my experience on handpiece maintenance and hopefully save you some money.

First, always follow your manufacturers recommendations for handpiece maintenance. Make sure your handpiece is used at the proper PSI, usually between thirty and forty PSI. If you run your handpiece at a higher pressure you will certainly cut the life of your bearings and the chuck. Also running your handpiece with the burr pulled out to gain extra reach will destroy the chuck and bearings very fast.

Second, wash the outer casing with alcohol or warm water and a soft to medium bristle brush depending on need. Please do not soak the handpiece under water or in any type of chemical. Do not use an ultrasonic cleaner unless recommended by the manufacturer.

Before we go any further you may want to know a little bit about the technical operation of the high-speed handpiece and how it collects debris. The high-speed handpiece pushes air from the the top and bottom of the head. When you let off the air control or rheostat the handpiece will shut down. At this time the handpiece draws in fine particulates of dust partials. This is because at the time you let off the air the air flow is reversed bringing in tooth dust and other contaminants. If the debris is not removed the contaminants will bake into the turbine and inside the chuck causing premature failure.

Based on my experience and conversations with various repair professionals there are five basic steps for high-speed handpiece maintenance. We have already covered two.

Third, choose your lubricant. Sprays are good but they have a propellant that needs to evaporate before the lubricant is left. I use an oil pen or syringe. For me this is the better way to go because you have direct control of your oil. The oil you use should meet of exceed the manufacturers specifications. If you use a spray, make sure you have the correct nozzle.

If you don't, buy one because you won't be able to get the oil where it needs to be. Use two or three blasts of one second each into the air hole. The air hole is the smaller one of the two hole system and the middle one for the three hole system. If you use an oil pen place three drops into the air hole. Use the same procedure for the chuck. One shot of spray or one drop of oil from the oil pen. Work the chuck by placing a burr in and out making sure the oil is thoroughly worked in.

Also the burr must be clean of contaminant. Hook the handpiece back up to the air and run at 20 PSI without the burr for about twenty or thirty seconds over a paper towel. look for the oil to be clear. If not repeat this procedure until it is. Now put in a burr and run for forty seconds at normal air pressure and look for contaminate. If the oil is clean it is time to autoclave.

Fourth, autoclave as normal. Do not stack handpieces in the autoclave.

Fifth, after you autoclave spray a one second blast into the air hole and one more into the chuck. One drop each for the oil pen. Hook up to air and run for 30 or forty seconds to purge the last of the oil and have a properly running handpiece.

If you observe these procedures you will save hundreds per year on high-speed handpiece repair.