As a dentist, your handpiece – or dental drill as your patients like to call it – is one of the most valuable tools at your disposal. You use it for a whole range of functions: cleaning, polishing, and shaping teeth; preparing or removing fillings; performing root canals and removing caries; the list goes on. It’s the tool that gets the job done. For you to do your work, it has to be always performing at its best. This means taking proper care and maintenance, and knowing when it’s time to send your high-speed handpiece for repair.
Of course, with careful and proper maintenance, you won’t need to rely on dental drill repair services nearly as frequently. Here are a few tips and things to watch out for from your local high-speed handpiece repair specialists:
The bur is the part of your handpiece that sees the most action, and will likely need to be replaced most often. It’s essentially the drill bit of the dental drill, and it’s the part that touches the teeth, so you need to always be sure it’s working properly. The bur’s rotation should be concentric, i.e. on the same axis as the turbine. If it begins to wobble, or if it falls out, you will need to get it replaced immediately. Otherwise it may further damage the handpiece, making it work imprecisely and raising the cost of dental drill repair services.
Turbine-powered dental handpieces are designed to work at a certain air pressure, and using more pressure than that can cause a tremendous deal of wear and tear. For example, if the manufacturer recommends that you not run higher than 40 PSI, running it any higher will result in malfunction and a high-speed handpiece repair bill.
When it comes to heat, there are two things to consider: how hot your handpiece runs, and how much heat you use in the sterilisation process. Overheating is a typical sign of malfunction. Wear and tear can create resistance, which then generates heat and can, under the right circumstances, harm either you or your patient. If your handpiece is overheating, then send it to a dental drill specialist right away.
When sterilising, the standard temperature is 135°C; any higher may cause unintended damage to the handpiece. The effectiveness of sterilisation is based on both temperature and time, so remember that when you use a lower temperature, you must give the process more time.
Know when to consult a professional
High-speed handpiece repair is delicate work. Attempting to perform repairs yourself may cause further damage to your handpiece. So familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of your handpiece and know when to perform regular maintenance, and when to send it in for repairs. It is also important to never try to “wait a problem out,” or try and get a little extra mileage out of a handpiece that is beginning to show signs of malfunction. Always send it to your dental drill repair specialist immediately!