Don’t Let Electric Handpiece Repair Fall by the Wayside
In a busy world, regular maintenance of equipment is something that’s easy to forget. However, taking a small amount of time and money to repair an electric handpiece will far outweigh the inconvenience of replacing a broken handpiece due to improper maintenance. But what actually happens when a dental handpiece isn’t maintained?
The water in the air compressor that runs the handpiece should be drained every day. If it isn’t, the water will accumulate inside the compressor, which may lead to mildew. Mildew causes buildup, and since the handpiece requires clean, dry air to function properly, allowing this accumulation could mean more than electric handpiece repair; it could mean replacement of both the handpiece and the compressor. The lines from the compressor can be checked for dirt by emptying them onto white paper.
In the same vein, a dental handpiece requires frequent cleaning, but should never be submerged in water while being cleaned, nor should disinfectant be used. Water may not fully dry inside the handpiece and result in internal rust, which will damage the moving parts, and electric handpiece repairs will become a necessity. Disinfectants are not recommended as the chemicals can react poorly with the extreme heat when the handpiece is being sterilized.
When sterilizing the handpiece, it is very important to remove the burs, as they place a lot of pressure on the springs. In the high temperature of the sterilization process, the pressure on the springs can cause them to come loose and ruin the effectiveness of the tool. Leaving the burs in may also result in debris building up inside the handpiece.
Lubrication is another key component to the maintenance of the handpiece (only on certain parts; check the instructions as it may vary from model to model) but it must be run after inserting the lubricant. Regular lubrication without running the piece immediately will eventually cause the lubricant oil to build up in the turbine and gum up the moving parts. Repair of the electric handpiece may be possible, but costly, when this happens – or the entire handpiece could be irreparably damaged.
Regular maintenance of equipment is often overlooked and undervalued, but it is a necessary part of keeping a business running smoothly. Without it, the result is expensive electric handpiece repairs that may be hard on the practice and the bank account. All that inconvenience can be avoided with simple everyday maintenance.