We know very well that the purchase of handpieces can be relatively expensive and that you will most definitely need to renew your handpiece instrument at some point in time. Nonetheless, there are ways to delay this by extending the lifetime of your handpieces. Accordingly, to ensure that your investment is worthwille, we want to provide you with a series of tips to improve maintainance of your rotary instuments and ensure they last for as long as possible.
These tips will help you preserve the proper functioning of your instruments, extend their service life, reduce the need for repairs, and consequently avoid any unecessary extra costs for your clinic. Above all, it is also very important that you always follow the instructions of the manufacturer of the handpiece; especially since maintenance may vary between different brands.
The basic maintenance procedure, common to all manufacturers of handpieces instruments, goes as follows:
- Cleaning: Clean your handpiece regularly; preferably after each use, even if not sterilized, as this will guarantee maximum hygiene and thus avoid cross contamination. We recommend cleaning and greasing instruments at least twice a day, after each sterilization and after a long period of time without use.
- Lubrication: After cleaning a handpiece, lubricate it immediately with polishing paste. Due to their abrasive power, the particles that make up the cleaning gels penetrate into the mechanisms of the handpiece's head and can therefore cause early mechanical wear.
We recommend you to follow the following steps for correct maintenance of handpieces:
- STEP 1: Rinse the rotary instrument with plenty of cold or warm water to remove debris. Keep the following in mind:
- It is advisable to use a brush with soft bristles to avoid any damage to the product.
- Never use hot water, as it may cause blood to coagulate inside the instrument and block the bearings and clamp.
- DO NOT use chemicals or abrasives, because they will damage the outer surface of the handpiece and cause them to deteriorate in appearance, but may also remove the inner layer of lubrication.
- DO NOT immerse the instruments in disinfectant liquids, because they corrode mechanical parts in a very short time.
- DO NOT use disinfectant wipes or alcohol for exterior cleaning or disinfection of deontological instruments. This is because its steam penetrates through the holes inside, corroding the bearings and very quickly damaging the materials.
- STEP 2: Lubricate the instrument:
- It is imperative that you use lubricant for the maintenance of your dental clinic materials. To allow for effective cleaning, it is important to use very good quality aerosol oils, preferably 100% synthetic, as they offer many technical advantages and help extend the useful life of the instruments. The price of synthetic oils is usually no higher than that of traditional mineral oils.
At Dentaltix we would also like to recommend you a few lubricants that will help you make the most out of your dental handpieces:
Mk-Dent PREMIUM lubricant is a colorless product with a fine density and a pleasant mint odor, thereby not making the maintenance of our handpieces a tedious task. In addition to this, thanks to the wide variety of aluminum nozzles available, we can lubricate all the instruments of our clinic using a single product.
Dentaflux lubricating oil spray is designed to provide optimum lubrication for any type of turbine, micro motor or contra-angle handpiece. It contains a high quality oil, free of toxicity, and guaranteeing an optimal maintenance of the devices.
For the lubrication of any instrument it is important that you always use the adapter that corresponds to the coupling system you are using. For correct lubrication of contra-angle handpieces and handpieces you need an "INTRA" adapter. To achieve optimum penetration to the deepest recess and in the right amount, using it without a nozzle is a waste of expensive oil and may be harm the equipment. You can choose your adapter depending on the materials to be lubricated, as is the case with the MK-Dent spray adapter nozzles.
How to lubricate your handpiece instruments correctly?
First lubricate for 1 second from the cutter inlet into the head. This step is key to removing all debris that remains inside the clamp and that cannot otherwise be removed. At least once a week, after carrying out this operation, use an interproximal brush to make two or three entries in the clamp and thus clean it in depth. Finally, insert the adapter fully into the back of the instrument, and grease the instrument for several seconds until the clean oil comes out of the holes from the head. If the head of your handpiece is removable, grease the two parts separately, each with its own adapter.
Should the turbine, straight or contra-angle handpiece be sterilized?
First of all, check that the instrument is suitable for autoclaving and/or thermodisinfecting. If the manufacturer recommends doing so, you can normally sterilize your rotary instruments in an autoclave up to 135º C. Preferably using a class "B" autoclave. Never use heat cycles to dry your handpieces.
How do you store handpieces in the clinic? After maintenance, store your instruments completely dry, in a clean and dry place.
Other tips for the maintenance of handpieces that will save you money:
- Use good quality cutters, as they have standardized shanks with very small manufacturing tolerance. If the piston rod is out of tolerance, it slips into the caliper under pressure and wears it out in a very short time.
- Discard heavily worn burs. This is advisable because they do not cut well and require greater pressure, which is transmitted to the bearings, heating them, charring them and discarding them very early. It is also possible that you run the risk of the bur "clutching" the clamp and find yourself unable to remove it.
- Never operate the push button to change the bur while the instrument is rotating, this will avoid unnecessary wear.
- Also, make sure the air that reaches the instruments is completely dry. In fact, it is recommended that you install a dryer in the compressor of the clinic.
Finally, it is very important that if you notice any anomaly in the operation of your dental handpieces in the clinic, that you do not use them and call your technician to check them.