Smart Tips for Electric Handpiece Preventative Maintenance
What piece of dental equipment is more essential to the success of your dental practice than an electric handpiece? These commonly used instruments play a crucial role in your daily work, and without them, you would not be able to care for your patients.
To keep your handpieces working all day, you should set aside time for regular preventative maintenance. These simple tips can keep your dental handpieces working their best for a more efficient and productive dental practice.
Add to Your Arsenal
How many air or electric handpieces does your dental practice need for smooth workflow? Ideally, each operatory should have three high-speed and two low-speed handpieces. With at least three handpieces, you can always have one to use, one in sterilization and one for the next patient. If your daily schedule is busier, it makes sense to invest in more handpieces.
Read the Manual
Not every dental handpiece is the same and while basic maintenance is similar for most models, each manufacturer may have specific recommendations. Any time you get a new handpiece for your dental office, review the manual to see if you need to adjust your preventative maintenance practices to prolong its lifespan.
Clean the Exterior
After using a handpiece, wipe the surface thoroughly to remove any biological debris. Use a brush to get any particles that you didn’t see and be sure to flush the handpiece with water afterward.
Dry It Thoroughly
Excess water can cause oxidation and corrosion over time, which can cut short the lifespan of your handpiece.
Lubricate the Interior
Spray the inside of your handpiece with a small amount of lubricant until you see it at the bur end. If you do not use enough, or do not allow it to work through the handpiece, it may not protect the bearings from excess wear. Be sure to lubricate the chuck as well.
Remember the Fiber Optics
Electric handpieces with fiber optic cables need to have those surfaces cleaned as well. Simply use a cotton swab and alcohol to remove oil or debris from the optical surface.
Bag It Up
Before sterilizing your handpiece, be sure to seal it in a bag and date it. Emphasize the importance of labeling and dating with your staff; this step can be important if you discover a problem with your autoclave and need to re-sterilize any equipment.
Run the Sterilizer
Sterilize your electric handpiece and never skip the dry cycle on your autoclave. Check the indicator on your bag to ensure every tool is sterile before using it again. Maintain a sterilization log to track the dates and times the autoclave is in use, so you can identify any contaminated dental tools if the autoclave malfunctions.
Maintaining your handpieces is part function and part safety — cutting corners could put your patients and your equipment at risk. If you need more dental handpieces to keep your practice running smoothly, check out our supply of quality air-driven and electric handpieces. Our professional consultants can explain the benefits of each model and answer any questions you may have.