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How to find right dental handpiece?


When it comes to selecting a handpiece for your practice, there certainly isn’t a shortage of options to choose from. There are a variety of handpieces available with similar features and designs to make handpiece use seamless and comfortable.  

Your highspeed dental handpiece may be one of the most important tools in your office. Over the years we have seen some amazing advances, especially with the improvements seen in electric handpieces. This Buyers Guide will help bring clarity to what is out there, as well as help you understand how to integrate a new setup into your existing workflow.
Air driven handpieces essentially work by forcing compressed air through the handpiece. That spins a fan-like turbine, which in turn spins your dental burs. Electric handpieces use an internal motor instead of a turbine. Dental laboratory electric handpieces have a pedal that ramps the speed up and down. In the operatory, electric handpieces are most often are backwards compatible with your existing delivery system. One of your air hoses attaches to a control box, and when you step on the pedal, the control box senses how much air is coming through and the electric motor in the handpiece spins the dental bur at the corresponding speed
Chuck – The specialized type of clamp that holds the bur tightly but allows it to spin.
Concentricity – The tightness of the burs rotation in relation to the center of the handpiece head.
Coupler – The connection between the handpiece and the delivery system, this must have the correct configuration of ports for air, water and light in order for the handpiece to function properly.
RPMs – Revolutions Per Minute, a measure of how fast or slow the handpiece spins the bur.
Scallops/Knurling – Patterns of bumps and indentations on the handle designed to add grip without trapping bacteria.
Torque – The rotational force of a handpiece. Torque describes how powerfully the bur can be spun, and thus how much force can be applied to the object being cut.
Questions and answers help you know more:
Q: What should dentists think about when buying a handpiece?
A: It depends on the type of procedures the doctor does in his practice and if it’s a specialty practice and what type of handpiece is the best fit. And beyond that it’s a matter of taste. In Europe, 80 percent of doctors use an electric handpiece. In the United States it’s 30 percent. We thought electric was going to be the thing and that everybody would upgrade to an electric handpiece. I don’t know if the economy slowed that down, but many doctors decided they wanted to wait to make the switch. It’s a big change for them.
Q: What should dentists know about handpiece maintenance? 
A: Dentists don’t know much about maintenance because they usually have somebody in the office who takes care of it. But it’s something they should be worried about because first of all they can spend a lot of money on repairs. They should be worried about where their handpieces are being sent and if they could get a better price if they sent them somewhere else. A lot of times everything is sent to a large distributor and the dentist doesn’t know who’s fixing the handpiece. It could be a student fixing the handpiece yet charging a lot of money. I deal with independent guys, where you get a better price and you know who’s fixing the handpiece. It’s like taking your car to a dealership to fix it or taking it to the garage guy you know. The repair portion and maintenance portion of how they’re spending their money should be something dentists are looking into.
What you should know to ensure the handpiece you choose is not only the best fit for your practice, but won’t cost you a lot of money down the road.
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