The investment into air-driven high-speed dental handpieces for your practice may prove to be a highly significant capital expense. Not only are these dental handpieces relatively expensive, but, you will also need to consider the operational costs and maintenance that will be required to keep the instruments running optimally on a long-term basis.
As a result, it is imperative that you – as a clinician – take the time to carefully consider the features associated with the devices, the overall reliability of the pieces, and the maintenance-based requirements when making a purchasing decision.
In this brief guide, we will provide you with the basic criteria for choosing air-driven dental handpieces for your practice. Given the fact that the FDA prohibits handpiece manufacturers from taking back open products, it is imperative that you read this guide and follow its guidelines carefully.
The Head Size and the Angulation of the Head
The first criterion that must be considered when purchasing air-driven dental handpieces is the head size and the overall angulation of the head.
A small head results in improved levels of visibility and patient access. A large head has a larger turbine that results in a higher output of power. In most instances, the angulation is set at 22.5 degrees.
This makes it easy for the instrument to remain in the sight of the dentist; however, this angle could result in the handpiece touching the maxillary arch due to restrictions in access to the posterior teeth. It is often best to opt for angulation that allows the posterior teeth to be reached and the patient’s comfort to be optimized.
It is a known fact that dental professionals have a high risk of developing hearing loss. Much of the hearing loss experienced by practitioners directly relate to the use of loud dental handpieces, over time.
Not only does a loud handpiece hurt a dentist’s ears, but it may make patients uncomfortable and may even increase dental anxiety. It is best to opt for air-driven dental handpieces that operate in the range of 58 decibels to 71 decibels.
Many dentists use dental handpieces for several hours each day. This level of use may result in health issues such as carpal tunnel syndrome, pain, and nerve damage. You should always opt for those handpieces that have the ergonomic design of a wide, flared shape towards the end area of the instrument.
This will help in reducing fatigue of the hand and the wrist. Additionally, you may opt for the handpieces that have a fully-rotating swivel. This helps to reduce the amount of torque of the tubing during use.
There are several considerations to choosing air-driven dental handpieces for your practices. In this guide, we have reviewed head size and head angulation, noise level, and ergonomic design.