According to research, it is imperative to properly maintain dental handpieces. Failure to do so could result in increased vibration of the dental instrument. Numerous health complications may occur if a practitioner has an increased exposure of these high vibrations. We all know and understand, as clinicians, that the human body is a highly complex structure. While its responses to vibration are not well known, numerous studies of the effects of high vibrations on the hands and the arms have concluded that many health complications may arise as a result of increased and prolonged exposure. A steady, strong hand is extremely important when it comes to operative dentistry; however, if you are not performing regular maintenance performed on your dental handpieces, you could be destroying the steady, strong hand that is necessary to perform your job.
The laboratory tests that have been concluded on the effects of high vibration on the hands and the arms have concluded that a large amount of vibration-based energy is absorbed by these components of the body. Naturally, the transmission of this energy decreases with distance and depends heavily upon the unique frequency rate associated with the vibrations. High frequencies are known to detrimentally impact the contact surface of the body, whereas low frequencies have the ability to impact the contact surface, and distances away from the contact surface, such as the arm. In evaluating our history, we can see that the very first negative effects of vibration to the hands were reported in the year of 1911. It was in that year that workers utilizing pneumatic-based tools experienced health issues as a result of vibration exposure. From that time period to our current period, many detrimental effects have been associated with vibration exposure.
Now, as dentists, we know that all dental handpieces produce a small amount of vibrations; however, if the dental handpiece is not properly lubricated, the parts become rigged, or dry, and the mechanical aspects of the device start to fail, the vibration of the dental instrument increases drastically. Dentists who have suffered from complications are a result of high vibrations in dental handpieces that were not properly maintained suffered from numerous issues. Examples of these issues include White-finger disease, neuropathy, weakness of the muscles, hand-arm vibration syndrome, vibration-induced white finger, and numbness. Naturally, all of these health complications have the potential to impact performance and reduce patient comfort during treatments.
Each of the dental handpieces that you use in your practice includes many different working parts. Examples of these components include – but, are not at all limited to – dental turbines, burs, bearings, and motor attachments. Oftentimes, simple issues such as lack of lubrication may result in increased vibrations. In order instances, a maintenance overhaul is required to reduce high vibrations. Regardless, regular maintenance is an essential component to protecting your health and the health of your patients. Here at Hughes Dental, we are trained and certified to handle all of your dental handpiece maintenance needs. If you would like to reduce the vibrations in your dental handpieces or simply to learn more, call us today at: 800.773.0800