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Handpiece Repair – 12 Preventive Measures


handpiece repair

Who wouldn't want their handpieces to last an extra 6 months or so between repair visits? Handpiece repair is one of the highest recurring costs for a dental practice. With today's technology being exposed to the dreaded autoclave, the need for handpiece repair is certain. But, what if you could do a few things to stretch the handpiece repair time line out a bit? Would you?

Handpiece Repair Postponed

Do the following 12 ways to avoid handpiece repair always result in radical improvements? Certainly not. But, collectively you will see results. Review below to see what you and your staff could be doing differently to postpone that next handpiece repair.handpiece repair

    1. Appoint a team member to the position of Handpiece Manager. Why Manager? Well, mostly because its kind of funny, but it does help define the importance of the job. Consistent handpiece maintenance is a key factor in minimizing handpiece repair costs.
    2. Resist the temptation to over lubricate. If two drops are good, three must be better, right? Absolutely not. Stick to the instructions for lubricants, and purge, purge, purge prior to placing handpiece in autoclave.handpiece repair
    3. Adjust air pressures to mfg recommendations. No one likes a limp handpiece. On the converse though, don't run pressures too high, or handpiece repair is certainly in your near future. Get a handpiece gauge to check it properly.
    4. Keep Air/Water supplies clean, clean, clean. The words "tortuous" and "constricted"  always come to mind when thinking of the paths water and air must travel to become of use in a dental handpiece. Filters are a must for air and water lines.
    5. Replace handpiece gaskets often, or when visibly hardened or cracked. This is specially important on the Star Swivel Couplers. Replace Star Coupler gaskets with the original Star Green Gasket, or equivalent only. You will be amazed at the improvement in performance. Improves handpiece efficiency, and helps prevent leaks which can cause connectors to corrode. Ask your handpiece repair guy how many times he has cut connectors off of handpiece threads. This usually happens when low speeds remain attached to the unit for longer periods of time.
    6. Clean handpiece and connector threads often to avoid rust and corrosion buildup. Thread brushes are great for this.handpiece repair
    7. Remove broken burs yourself with a strong magnet. Check out super strong Neodymium magnets sized perfectly for this application. Bur Magnets>>>...
    8. Replace back caps when bent or damaged, ensure button works properly and doesn't contact turbine when operating, and keep holes in back caps clean and clear to ensure air is able to flow through them. If you ever install a new turbine which fails to perform as expected, check the back cap for clogged holes or visible damage.
    9. Cut off hose ends and re-attach hose connectors periodically to ensure a good connection at this point. To do this, just cut air line hose just below connector with scissors, remove old hose from connector, and re-attach. A little water placed at connection point will help lubricate and allow barbed connections to enter hose more easily.
    10. Throw away burs after use. When dental burs are seated into chuck, they become an extension of the turbine itself. A bent bur causes high vibration, and turbine damage. It may not be readily visible each time this happens, but the damage has ocurredhandpiece repair none the less, and turbine longevity is effected. New burs are also sharper, and require less work to be performed by the turbine. High quality carbide burs are available for less than $1 each. Consider it insurance against handpiece repair.
    11. Keep chucks clean with handpiece cleaner, and a chuck brush. We all know dental turbines are useless without good strong chucks to securely hold burs. Spray cleaner into chuck and clean with a 1mm or 2mm nylon brush regularly. Your turbine will reward you with less down time to handpiece repair.

Best Way To Avoid Handpiece Repair

  1. Get an automatic handpiece lubrication unit. Borrowed, blue, old, new. Doesn't matter. Just get one. These things work. In our opinion, next to limiting human error, automatic handpiece purge, lubrication, or maintenance units (what ever you want to call them) are the best way to consistently avoid handpiece repair. Also, check out Kavo QUATTROcare for a good description of how these work.
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