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Cleaning and Sterilizing Your Patterson Dental Handpieces

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Cleaning and sterilizing your Patterson dental handpieces is an important part of maintaining your dental instruments. It is important that you start by wearing protective clothing during this process.

Remove Organic Material From the Handpiece

Once you are prepared, you must start by removing the handpiece section from the coupling or, if present, the motor. Once you have done this, remove the bur. You will immediately notice organic material on the handpiece. You should take a paper towel or other type of tissue that you may easily manipulate and completely remove this material. The use of isopropyl alcohol will aid in cleaning the exterior. This step is required to prepare your Patterson dental handpieces for manual cleaning.

Clean the Handpiece

Now that you have removed the organic material, it is time to manually clean the Patterson dental handpiece. You must clean the external area of it with cool running water. You should use a dedicated brush and clean water.

It is best to avoid ultrasonic bath cleansing. Instead, you should opt for automated cleaning processing in a DAC. If you happen to have a system called a “Thermal Washer Disinfector”, or “TWD” for short, you may use this; however, you must refer to the guidelines on using this type of cleansing unit before use to ensure that you do not damage your Patterson dental handpieces.

Sterilizing Your Handpiece

The next steps involved in cleaning and sterilizing your Patterson dental handpieces is to disinfect and oil the instruments. To disinfect the handpieces, you should never wipe down the body with a disinfectant wipe since this may leave a residue that will shorten the turbine life. Wipe the body with isopropyl alcohol.

Dental handpieces should never be placed directly into a solution that is designed to disinfect.

Oiling Your Handpiece

Once you have cleaned the handpiece, you should then start the process of oiling the device. The following steps may be used with Patterson dental handpieces when engaging in the oiling process:

  1. First, obtain a can of maintenance spray that is designed for your Patterson dental handpieces.
  2. Next, connect the nozzle to the spray can. You simply hold the can in the upright position and place the nozzle into the base of the handpiece. You should then spray for up to 2 seconds into the proper air port. Once the oil sprays out in a clean fashion, you should place the handpiece back on your drive hose and run the handpiece until all excess lubricant is expelled.
  3. Once the oiling is finished, you should then wipe off any oil that has gotten on the dental handpiece. It is best to just use a dry tissue to do this step.
  4. When oiling the Patterson dental handpieces in your practice, be sure to spray oil directly in the proper air port of the device. If you are uncertain please refer to this maintenance sheet. This will help in preserving the overall function of the dental instrument.

Now that your Patterson dental handpieces are cleaned and oiled, it is time for sterilization. The best method for this is to place the dental instruments into an autoclave unit. It is important to watch the temperatures on the unit. If you sterilize at too high of a temperature, it could damage your dental handpieces.

If you feel that this process is too extensive, we at Hughes Dental are able to assist with the cleaning, sterilization, and general maintenance of your Patterson dental handpieces. If you would like to learn about our services, give us a call today at: 800-773-0800.

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