Keep Your Handpiece in Prime Condition with These Tips and Tricks
Every trade has its tools, and every practitioner knows the importance of taking good care of their tools. After all, any tool is only as good as the one who uses it, and that includes regular care, cleaning, and maintenance. This is no different for dentists, who use a variety of tools to provide their patients with exceptional dental care. As a dentist, one of your most useful—and most complicated—tools is your dental handpiece. What your patients might call a drill, your handpiece is usable for everything from cleaning to preparing teeth for fillings and beyond. And to keep it running smoothly between regularly scheduled repairs, there’s a certain level of care required.
Read and Follow the Instructions
Every make and model is going to have its differences. The best thing you can do is be sure to read and follow the care instructions included with each one you use to make sure you know how it differs from other models and how to apply that knowledge to how you go about maintaining your handpiece.
Don’t Double-Dip Sterilizers
Of course you’re going to wipe your piece down after each use and before sterilizing it. But keep this process as simple as you can, and no simpler—warm water, and maybe a mild detergent, is all you need. Avoid using chemical sanitizers when wiping it down. This is not only redundant, since you are about to heat-sterilize it, but potentially harmful due to potential unforeseen chemical reactions.
Think before You Lubricate
Lubricating a dental handpiece is important—but can do more harm than good if done incorrectly! For example, make sure you know which opening is the correct one for lubrication on each model, otherwise you may end up clogging a heat exhaust vent! And of course, once you lubricate a no-lubricant model, it will need constant lubrication from then on. Once you’ve lubricated your piece, make sure to run its motor to prevent gummy buildup in the turbine.
Don’t Try This at Home
If you find yourself with a handpiece that needs repair or more serious maintenance, don’t attempt to do it yourself. The best thing you can do is get in touch with an experienced repair specialist. These specialists know the inner workings of a wide array of makes and models and how to make repairs. They also have access to the best replacement parts. When it comes to repairing your most valuable tool, why wouldn’t you trust the dental handpiece repair professionals?