Is the Way You Clean Your Handpiece Wearing It Out Faster?
Regular cleaning and maintenance are important for the overall function of your dental handpiece, but have you ever considered how your cleaning routine may do more harm than good? You might think that cutting corners with cleaning and storage is not a big deal. However, improper maintenance could cost more money over time as your tools degrade faster. Consider these cleaning tips to keep your handpiece clean and functional longer.
Cleaner and Lubricant
It is important not only to use cleaner and lubricant, but to use the right type of fluid for your tools. Use cleaner and lubricant that is recommended by the manufacturer of your dental handpiece. These fluids are specially formulated to prolong the life of your tools for cleanliness and functionality.
Avoid Chemical Disinfectant
Chemical disinfectants might sound like a good idea to kill germs and eliminate buildup, but they can quickly destroy a dental handpiece over time. A chemical wipe down before sterilization is redundant and harmful to the integrity of your tools. When heated, chemicals from the disinfectant could react with the metal, causing corrosion. This is why using the recommended cleaner will keep your tools safe from damage.
Never Immerse In Any Liquid
Avoid immersion in any cleaners, disinfectants, water, or any other liquids. It is not advised and unnecessary to immerse a dental handpiece in any liquid. Immersion can trap liquid in the handpiece causing damage.
Remove Bur When Cleaning
The only time to leave the bur on is if your handpiece uses a wretch-activated chuck. Otherwise, always remove the bur when cleaning and lubricating. When the bur is left on, it prevents lubricant from flowing freely to all areas needed. Additionally, burrs left on during autoclaving are compressed and heated, causing them to weaken. Debris may also build up around burs that will cause corrosion curing autoclaving.
Expel Lubricant Before Autoclave
Before sterilizing your tools in the autoclave, it is important to run the handpiece to expel excess lubricant. When excess lubricant is left in the tool, a “gumming up” effect as the lubricant is essentially baked into the turbines during autoclaving. An undesired result of this will be the excess being expelled when it is first used on a patient.
Cool Down Naturally
Although you might be tempted to quickly cool down your handpiece after autoclaving, never run it under cold water. Instead allow the tools to cool down naturally to avoid temperature shock that will damage the turbine.
Set aside an appropriate amount of time for lubrication, cleaning, and sterilization after use and your dental handpiece will serve your clinic needs effectively and safely. With a little extra care, you can save time and money on your tools.