Quick Guide to Handpiece Maintenance

Your practice can significantly reduce the cost of handpiece repairs by ensuring a basic Handpiece care and maintenance programme is put in place. Oiling after every use, before being autoclaved is a non-negotiable task that must be completed. Outlined below are more best practice care aspects that are important.

Quality Oil:

Cutting costs is important in any business. However, handpiece care oil should not be an area to target. Always invest in a quality synthetic based oil which will cover and protect your handpiece components through high sterilising temperatures and high operating speeds.

Oil Every time before Sterilising.

Handpieces must be oiled before each sterilisation. When a handpiece is oiled properly any deposits of wear or debris from use will be flushed out.

Failure to oil the handpiece properly will result in the debris being baked onto the handpiece components, causing unnecessary wear and premature failure of bearings and burr holding mechanism.

Correct Oiling Nozzle or Tip:

The correct oiling nozzle directs the oil through to the bearings and moving components . No matter how much time is invested in oiling the handpiece if the correct nozzle is not used time and oil is being wasted.

Most common sign of using incorrect nozzle is excess oil oozing from handpiece first use after sterilising cycle.

Quality Burs:

Ever tried cutting your Sunday roast with a poor knife? The effort it takes and the difficulty in getting a neat smooth slice!

The same applies to your dental bur. A blunt bur means that you have to apply extra pressure on your handpiece. This will reduce the lifespan of the handpiece bearings.

We have occasionally come across burs that fall outside recommended diameter guidelines. Oversize burs can get stuck in the handpiece and result in a new cartridge. Undersized burs can fall out of the handpiece when it’s in use.

Correct Bur Length:

If the bur is not long enough select a longer one. Sometimes you may be tempted to pull the bur partially out the head so you can get to the deepest part of your clinical preparation. This will damage your cartridge holding mechanism and can result in the bur coming loose and falling out during operation.

Bur holding mechanism can be damaged if the bur is not fully inserted into the handpiece before use.

Thermal Shock:

Thermal shock in handpieces is when the team is in a hurry to get the handpiece out of the steriliser and back into the surgery for use. Sometimes the temptation to dunk the handpiece under the cold tap can be great. Always allow handpiece to cool down naturally after sterilising before its used again. Investing in a couple of extra handpieces will greatly reduce your repair costs over time.