According to the FDA, the use of poorly maintained electric-based dental handpieces could result in serious injuries to patients, including third degree burns. Throughout the history of electric dental handpieces, numerous patients have endured serious burns as a result of poorly maintained dental instruments being used during their dental procedures. Many burns have been so severe that the patient has had to undergo plastic surgery to repair the damage. Unfortunately, burns are not commonly noticed until the anesthesia has worn off and the tissue has already been detrimentally impacted. If you use electric dental handpieces in your practice, it is imperative that the instruments are properly maintained on a regular basis to prevent patient injury.
Warnings Typically Do Not Occur Before Patient Injury
If you are a dental practitioner, it is quite likely that you have used both air-driven dental handpieces and electric-based dental handpieces while performing dental procedures. It is easy to tell when an air-driven dental instrument requires maintenance because the piece will become sluggish. This sluggishness typically stems from clogged gears or poorly functioning bearings. Unfortunately, electric-based dental handpieces typically do not provide a warning that maintenance is required. If the internal components of the dental instrument become clogged or experience complications, the motor in the electric instrument will increase the amount of power sent to the head or the specific attachment that is being used. When this happens, heat is generated in the head of the attachment on the device. This is quickly conducted through the metal and commonly results in burns.
How to Prevent Patient Burns
There are several different steps that may be taken in order to avoid the possibility of your patients becoming burned as a result of improperly maintained electric handpieces. Naturally, the very first step is to ensure that you have your dental instruments maintained, according to the instructions from the manufacturer of the device. If you are unsure of the routine service that should be performed, you should contact the manufacturer of the dental handpiece directly. The manufacturer will provide you with details based on the use of the handpiece. The next step in preventing patient injury during dental procedures is to educate all personnel in your dental practice on the proper cleaning and maintenance of the devices. A schedule should be created to ensure that the dental instruments in your practice are kept up on on a regular basis. Tracking maintenance is a highly effective step on reducing patient injuries.
We here at Hughes Dental are certified dental handpiece repair technicians. We are fully capable of maintaining all types of dental handpieces. We may do Sirona handpiece repair, Star handpiece repair, Midwest handpiece repair, Kavo handpiece repair, Shein handpiece repair, W&H handpiece repair, Synea handpiece repair, MK-Dent handpiece repair, and Patterson handpiece repair. If you would like to review the products and services that we have to offer, simply contact us today by calling: 800-773-0800