Air-Driven Dental Handpieces and Electric Dental Handpieces – Which is Best for Your Practice?
When it comes to your dental practice, dental handpieces are considered to be one of the most important tools that you have at your disposal. Throughout the past several years, numerous advances have been made that have increased the value of dental handpieces and their place within dentistry.
Air-driven handpieces utilize compressed air to function. Electric dental handpieces utilize an internal motor to function. While the core of the functionality of the handpieces is different, the purpose and intent of the handpieces are the same within the dental practice.
Most dentist offices will use a combination of air-driven and electrical instruments; however, there are many dental professionals that prefer one type over the other. In this brief guide, we will highlight the comparisons between the two so that you may determine which is best-suited for your needs.
There is a distinct difference in the speeds of the air-driven handpiece and the electric handpiece. To date, the air-driven instrument is considered to be the unit that reaches the highest level of speed.
This is due, in part, to the fact that the rate of speed is directly governed by the amount of air that is being forced to through the hose of the instrument. Electric handpieces have high speeds, too; however, there is generally a cap of about 200,000 RPM because of the speed is directly governed by the internal motor of the device.
When utilizing handpieces in your practice, you must pay attention to the amount of noise that comes from the device. Not only will this noise impact those that work in your practice, but, it could impact the comfort level of your patients.
According to numerous studies, the air-driven dental handpieces are much louder than the electric-driven handpieces because of the fact that the forced air that is delivered to the unit makes a tremendous amount of noise as it is being pushed through to the unit. Electric handpieces put out a little bit of noise due to the turbine/motor; however, in comparison, it is much quieter than air-driven units.
Torque and Feathering
When determining which types of dental handpieces to use in your facility, it is important to consider the torque and feathering with each. An electric unit typically has no drops within the torque and is able to consistently maintain power – regardless of how the device is being used.
Additionally, electric units may be controlled using a foot pedal. This means that you have the ability to feather the device during use. While you may feather an air-driven dental handpiece, too, you will find that the air unit does not maintain a consistency with the torque or the speed.
It is often difficult to determine which is best for your practice – an air-driven dental handpiece or an electric-driven dental handpiece. Based on the information contained in this simple guide, electric handpieces seem to offer many more benefits to the practitioner; however, there are some advantages to utilizing an air dental handpiece, too. In order to reap the maximum rewards within your practice, it is probably best to utilize both types.