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Dental Handpiece Maintenance is a Critical Component to the Effective Operations of Your Practice

In order to ensure that your dental practice is operating effectively, it is imperative that you place a focus on regular dental handpiece maintenance. Shortcuts should never be taken in this area because it will result in dental equipment that does not work at optimal levels of efficiency. In turn, this could result in patient discomfort, prolonged procedures, and other delays that will negatively impact your practice.

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Maintenance and Repair Recommendations

Each dental handpiece that you use in your dental practice comes with manufacturer guidelines that make recommendations pertaining to maintenance. These guidelines will also specify repair recommendations. You should review these carefully and adhere to the steps listed. If making repairs or replacing certain components of your dental handpieces, ensure that you either get the parts from the manufacturer or from a company that specializes in the components, such as Hughes Dental.

Create Detailed Records

While it may be a bit time-consuming, it is essential that you create detailed records of the maintenance and the repairs that you perform on your dental handpieces. Otherwise, it will prove to be very challenging to determine what needs to be done and when it needs to be done. You may identify this as the “Maintenance Log”. Here, you will log as much information as possible. Examples include when the handpieces were sterilized, lubricated, and tested. You should also include dates and relevant information pertaining to replacements and general repairs.

Cleaning and Sterilization

Carefully review the manufacturer guidelines pertaining to the regulations and comprehensive guidelines on cleaning and sterilizing the dental handpieces of your practice. There are some additional points that should be considered. These include the following:

  • First, you should always make certain that your handpiece is thoroughly cleaned prior to placing it in the autoclave. Remember, clean according to the manufacturer guidelines and never submerged the instrument completely in water.
  • Once in the autoclave for sterilization, do not remove until the process is completely finished. Doing so will not result in a complete sterilization and may subject you and your patients to infectious agents.
  • If your dental handpiece becomes too hot, never cool it by using any type of liquid – such as water – because it could result in damage so severe that you may have to replace the instrument.
  • When cleaning the dental handpiece, always remember to thoroughly clean the inside of the head, the glass that provides the fiber-optics, and the turbine check. Failure to hit any of these spots results in a poor cleaning.

Scheduling Maintenance

We recommend setting up a daily, weekly, and monthly maintenance log. This will help ensure that you handle all aspects of your practice without neglecting anything. You may even include annual tasks on this list. The following outlines a sample. You should simply take those that are relevant to your dental practice and create your own schedule:

Daily Tasks

  1. Flush each of your dental handpieces and your syringes completely with water.
  2. Once dry, lubricate your dental handpieces.
  3. Sterilize the dental handpieces according to the manufacturer recommendations.
  4. Each of the angles, nose cones, etc. should be lubricated between use.
  5. Once you have finished with a patient, be certain to disinfect all equipment used.
  6. The waterlines attached to your dental handpieces should be flushed between patients.
  7. The saliva ejection tubes and the HVE should have suction cleaner in them and ran.
  8. All of the delivery unit traps in your practice should be thoroughly cleaned.
  9. Drain your ultrasonic cleaner and be certain to completely wipe it out.
  10. Review the infectious waste containers in your practice and clean and replace as needed.

Weekly Tasks

  1. The traps on the delivery units in your dental practice should be completely replaced.
  2. Each of the couplers on your dental handpieces has an O-ring. This should be checked and replaced, if needed.
  3. All gaskets on your dental handpieces should be checked and replaced, if necessary.
  4. In your sterilizers, a biological spore test should be completed.
  5. Your practice and office space should be completely evaluated to ensure no safety hazards exist.

Monthly Tasks

  1. You should inspect, clean, and/or replace the plaster-based trap in your practice.
  2. The model trimmer should be completely cleaned.
  3. The cassettes and screens utilized for panoramas, etc. should be inspected and cleaned.
  4. All nitrous oxide units and other oxygen units in your practice should be tested and cleaned.
  5. The master trap should be evaluated and cleaned. If need be, replace it.
  6. Clean all chairs in the waiting area, office area, and patient rooms.
  7. Sit where patients sit and evaluate areas in your office to determine if they should be cleaned. If so, clean as necessary.
  8. Check all monitoring equipment and ensure it is working appropriately and everything is up to code.

Annual Tasks

  1. Change the door gasket and the cassette seals that are associated with your sterilizer.
  2. In the compressor unit, be certain to change the oil.
  3. Inspect all of your emergency systems. This includes your lighting, smoke alarms, and fire extinguishers.
  4. Inspect all of your x-ray equipment.
  5. Review all guidelines associated with HIPAA and OSHA and complete any necessary training required.
  6. Outline emergency procedures with every person on your staff.

Contact Us Today

We here at Hughes Dental specialize in the maintenance, repairs, and replacements of all types of dental handpieces. If you need assistance with your maintenance and would like us to inspect your dental handpieces, we are standing by to assist you. You do not even have to leave your office. Simply visit our website to print out your shipping label and attach to your box and arrange for pickup. If you are in need of replacements, we specialize in both parts and full dental handpieces. To learn more or to inquire about our products and/or services, contact us today by calling the following: 1-800-773-0800

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