A dental handpiece is a precision-built mechanicaldevice designed for use with rotary instruments, suchas burs, stones, wheels, and discs, used in dentaltreatment. Handpieces may be air driven, electric, orcompressed gas (for surgical handpieces).
As a dental assistant, it is your responsibility to care for and sterilize the dental instruments after each patient. Care must be taken in cleaning the dental handpieces because they are delicate and expensive pieces of equipment. By following the suggested procedure, you can ensure that your dental handpieces remain in good working order for several years.
Handpieces can be classified according to therevolutions per minute (rpm) or speed at which theyoperate. One type is the low- or slow-speed, and theother is referred to as the high-speed handpiece. A single handpiece that can be used in multiple dental treatments is provided. The handpiece comprises a housing having a coil for producing an electromagnetic or electrostrictive field in the housing, and a number of inserts that react with the electromagnetic or electrostrictive field and can be used with the housing to complete the handpiece. A switching system used with the handpiece, which electrically recognizes the particular insert used with the housing provide for automatically controlling circuitry that determines which of a number of materials and medicaments are to be delivered to the handpiece for use with a particular insert. Circuitry which provides better control of the ultrasonic insert in the handpiece is also provided.
There is little or no doubt that autoclaving and meeting the demands of infection control procedures has increased the cost and complexity of dentistry. Fortunately there are ways to immediately reduce this impact. The focus of this article, therefore, is to solve the dilemma and put money back in your pockets.Handpieces must be sterilised by autoclaving after each patient. These stages of cleaning and lubrication are essential for the prolonged working life of the handpiece.
More often than not handpieces are exceedingly dirty, sometimes they are dry through lack of oil, or excess oil residues have been baked ontobearing and gear surfaces in the high heat of the autoclaving process. There is a startling difference when handpieces arrive from a practice that uses a handpiece maintenance unit. The internal surfaces and components are clean and pristine.Depending upon the design, handpiece maintenance systems will simultaneously process one to six handpieces. Some units have features such as washing, steam back flushing, and autoclaving.