Handpieces are a vital piece of equipment for every dental office to keep in stock. As technology advances, so does the safety of your patients. Electric handpieces are rising in popularity for a plethora of reasons.
Electric handpieces can make dentistry safer for both the patient and the doctor. While they can be a little more expensive, electric handpieces have been known to provide more benefits than air-driven handpieces.
Why are they more popular?
Electric handpieces allow the user to have a controlled, consistent speed. This is important because it helps reduce unwanted stalls and speed variations during exams, which is beneficial when you’re using it on dense materials.
Several electric handpieces have a digital display where you can see and maintain the speed at which you operate it.
The concentric motion of an electric handpiece ensures that the same margin is as even, smooth, and precise as possible. They also have a constant torque that doesn’t decrease with resistance.
An electric handpiece that runs at 200,000 rpm won’t be slowed down when the bur makes contact with a tooth, unlike it does with air-driven handpieces.
Electrical handpieces maintain a constant speed, which helps with a consistent torque. According to The Dental Advisor, this consistency eliminates stalling or reduced speeds when cutting through crowns or other dense materials.
Irregularities can occur when using an air-driven handpiece because of the feather motion required during use. Electric handpieces have gears to hold the bur in a locked position, preventing the user from wobbling.
The constant torque helps ensure a smooth, even margin. Dr. John Flucke spoke with Dental Products Report about how the turbines on air-driven handpieces spin very fast, and are powered by thin air streams, impacting the torque they provide.
Dr. Flucke mentions that air doesn’t have a lot of density, so when you engage bur to tooth the handpiece spins downward and slows when it engages the tooth. This is caused by the lack of torque mentioned above.
Minimal noise level
While air-driven handpieces tend to give off a loud, high-pitched sound, electrical ones emit significantly lower noise levels. The less noisy your equipment is, the more at ease your patient is likely to be.
Over time, that high pitched noise could also affect your ears. According to Hughes Dental Repair, if your handpieces aren’t appropriately maintained, it could create high frequency levels that could cause hearing loss.
Reduces aerosol production
During a dental exam, handpieces create aerosols that can permeate both the dentist and the patient. It can also spread around the room, which can spread viruses a patient may have.
Because of the consistency, electrical handpieces reduce the spread of these aerosols. Being able to keep the speed consistent and low while also ventilating the aerosols is the key to keeping them contained.
Overall, the benefits of an electric handpiece really come down to the speed control it allows the user. This affects the entire use of the device and the dentist’ experience.
Some of the top electric handpieces include MASTERtorque LX M8900 from Kavo, the Titan 3 Low Speed Handpiece by DentalEZ and the Midwest Stylus Plus by Dentsply Sirona.
The switch can be easy to make! According to Gregori M. Kurtzman with Inside Dentistry, you can attach an electric system to a standard handpiece connector through the system’s control unit’s box. The connection to the air line used with an air-driven handpiece allows the current rheostat to run the electric handpiece.
Just like anything in life it will take some time and practice to learn how to use the electric handpiece, but its benefits outweigh those of an air-driven handpiece.
Whether you choose electrical or air-driven handpieces, SourceClub can help you save thousands of dollars on the dental equipment you need.
For an equipment savings analysis calculator, click here.