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Choosing the Correct Dental Handpiece

A handpiece is one of the most used instruments in a dental surgery, so it is important to make an informed decision when choosing your handpieces.
For the efficient running of your practice, it is of vital importance to choose quality, reliable and high-performance handpieces. Choosing a good quality handpiece will increase dentist productivity, reduce stress for patients and reduce running costs.

When purchasing handpieces be sure you’re buying a genuine product. The internet is rife with counterfeit and sub-standard non-compliant dental handpieces. Everyone loves a bargain but don’t risk your patient’s safety or your registration on cheap sub-standard handpieces from a faceless company on the internet.

Investing in quality genuine handpieces will yield a return by providing years of service. Consider the cost of your handpieces over a given time, say 3 to 5 years.

  • What is the initial purchase cost?

  • What is the warranty?

  • What is the ongoing service/repair cost?

  • What is the quality of the after sales service?

Handpiece Traders handpieces are the best of all the genuine quality brands in the dental industry, reconditioned so that they are competitively priced, have warranty and fully serviceable through our sister company Dental Drill Solutions.

High Speed handpieces work in conjunction with a bur, a rotary cutting tool (like a drill and a drill bit). High speed handpieces rotate the bur at speeds of approx. between 300k rpm and 450k rpm, hence the name high speed!

A high speed handpiece is a precision device for the removal of tooth tissue efficiently and rapidly with no pressure, heat or vibration, to prepare cavities for restoration and or crowns and to section a tooth during surgery. With the correct bur a good quality high-speed handpiece will cut through almost anything just like butter!
A high speed handpiece uses a bur with a 1.6 mm diameter shank.

High speed handpieces incorporate a cooling water spray to prevent overheating of the pulp due to the amount of heat otherwise produced from the high speed of the bur.
Some high-speed handpieces deliver the cooling spray via 1-5 spray ports with the water mist to hit the bur during use.

High speed handpieces are driven entirely by air and available with various head sizes. Smaller head size improves visibility and access, so useful for posterior work and paediatric dentistry, a larger head size produces more torque and cutting power which speeds up procedures.

High speed handpieces connect to the high speed air line via quick connect couplers. Some couplers supply the optics to the handpiece, others just the electrical current to illuminate the bulb in the handpiece. If you want to change handpiece brands then all you have to do is change the coupler attachment on your high speed line. You may have inherited old handpieces from a previous owner/Dentist but want to use another brand, you may have your own favourites that you prefer the feel of in use - it's really easy to make the change!

Handpiece Traders supply reconditioned high speed handpieces with Kavo, NSK, W&H & Morita end fittings (and a few others) suitable for the respective brand’s coupler.

Low Speed handpieces, also referred to as contra angles, which also come in the form of straight pieces or attachments, generally use a 2.35mm diameter bur. Low speed handpieces are connected to and are driven by a motor which is air or electric driven. The bur rotation speed of a low speed handpiece is determined by the motor driving it. A Blue Band 1:1 ratio low speed will rotate the bur at a maximum of 40K rpm when attached to an electric motor and approx. 20K rpm when attached to an air motor.

Low speed handpieces are used for the removal of soft decay, finishing cavity preparation, polishing, trimming and prophy work. The various low speed models are used for different functions, straight handpieces are used for some surgical procedures and also extra-oral procedures such as trimming dentures. Low speed contra handpieces can be used for the removal of decay, to polish restorations, refine cavity preparation, adjust crown and bridges and dentures. Green Bands are used mainly for prophylaxis work when you want the prophy cup or bristle brush rotating slowly. The 4:1 ratio, meaning that it’s 4:1 speeding reducing, rotating four times slower that the driving motor. Contra angle handpieces are supplied in a variety of speed ratios, speed reducing and speed increasing 1:5 (Red Bands), for the requirement of the procedure undertaken. Red Bands are commonly used for cavity preparation, crown preparation, and sectioning existing fixed prosthetics.

At Handpiece Traders we recommend that every chair or dental unit has 10 high speed handpieces and 4 low speed handpieces for optimum performance (in a normal “9 to 5” practice).

Handpieces must be allowed to cool between cycles, or you may risk the parts inside deteriorating sooner than usual. It also means that you won't need to do as many autoclave cycles as you can fit a few more handpieces in each time (relieving pressure on your staff at the same time!!).

In the event of one handpiece being out of circulation needing repair your business can still run smoothly without the need for panic to set in.

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