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Tips for Dental Handpiece Care and Maintenance

Dental handpieces are instruments that put in a lot of labour, and their interior workings can become rather sensitive. Because of this, they need regular and thorough maintenance in order to function properly and last as long as possible. The following are seven suggestions that will assist in preventing the risk of cross-contamination while also guaranteeing that the device will provide the best possible outcomes throughout its entire lifespan.

1. Cleanse externally: It is best to use alcohol or just warm water to disinfect the outside of the handpiece, but you may also use a brush with soft or medium bristles and wipe it down with alcohol. You shouldn’t clean the item with an ultrasonic cleaner, immerse it in water or chemicals, or put it in an ultrasonic cleaner.

2. Disinfect: If you are using a washing disinfector, take the handpiece out of the device after the cleaning cycle is over. Never leave anything in the washing machine overnight or for any longer than the cycle allows.

3. Lubricate internally: After waiting for roughly two seconds, during which time a high-quality oil should be placed into the handpiece, the oil should then emerge through the head. Keep in mind that the internal mechanics of the gadget can never have too much lubrication applied to them. Depending on how often the spindle or chuck is used, the optimal quantity of lubrication for each component is once per day.

4. Remove debris: After oiling and before sterilisation, a bur should be inserted into the handpiece, and the two should be connected for 10 to 20 seconds to flush out any debris and excess oils. This will keep the inside of the handpiece clean and lubricated to prevent oil leakage during procedures.

5. Sterilise: Take out the bur and clean the outside of the handpiece before placing it in a bag and sending it through the autoclave. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for sterilising each gadget. If your steriliser has a dry cycle, put the handpiece through it. When the autoclave cycle is complete, the handpiece must always be removed. Leave it in the autoclave for no more time than the cycle calls for.

6. Cool and dry: After autoclaving, the handpiece should be stored with the head up to allow for air circulation and drying. Do not use a handpiece until it has cooled, and avoid putting it in cold water.

7. Check air supply: Inspect the air pressure if the handpiece is powered by air. Never go higher than 2.8 bar (or 40 psi). Premature bearing failure may occur if it is too high. Have a service engineer regularly inspect the dental unit’s compressor and air/water filters to ensure that it is producing clean, dry air.

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