Dental Handpiece News
For Questions About Your Repair

Oral Health Dental Care Handpiece Lingo for Dentists

HC4022Oral health dental care handpieces are considered to be among the most frequently utilized mechanical-based devices by dentists. These amazing tools have evolved from a primitive-based cutting tool that was initially introduced during the 19th Century to a sophisticated, highly-efficient device that is well-respected and valued in today’s world. In evaluating the history of these dental care products, you will find that, traditionally-speaking, handpieces were classified as being either “air-driven” or “electric-driven”. In recent years, handpieces utilize both technologies – air and electricity – complete with a specially-designed control mechanism that allows dentists to adapt the unique torque, based on the clinical situation. If you utilize handpieces in your dental practice, it is imperative that you know and understand the most common oral health care dental handpiece lingo associated with the devices. In this guide for dentists, you will learn these common vocabulary terms that pertains to your handpieces.

  1. Air Motor – This is a type of slow-speed dental handpiece that does not have reduction gears or any type of attachment.
  2. Autoclave – This is a steam-based sterilizer that has the unique ability to completely destroy living organisms. Temperatures are at least 270°F and pressure is raised to a total of 30 PSI.
  3. Bearing – This part of an oral health dental care handpiece is high-precision in nature and supports the rotating parts with a very low amount of friction.
  4. Bur – This is a rotary-based instrument that is held, and then revolved, in a dental handpiece. It is utilized to remove carious-based material within teeth that are decayed, reduce hard tissues that are fractured and/or decayed, create a design of the tooth cavity in preparation for servicing by dentists, and polish the teeth and/or restorations on the teeth. The three most common materials used to create burs are steel, carbide material, and diamond-coated materials.
  5. Canister – This is a type of closed cylinder that is responsible for housing a rotating-based turbine assembly.
  6. Contra Angle – This is a special attachment that is used with either a straight speed motor or a slow speed motor, which allows dentists to change the desired angle in which they are working so that difficult to access oral cavities may be reached.
  7. Drive Air – This is the air supply that is utilized to power a dental handpiece that is air-driven.
  8. Exhaust – This refers to the air that is discharged from a handpiece.
  9. Fiber Optic Dental Handpiece – This is a type of handpiece that utilizes a fiber optic-based bundle and specially-designed light to assist in the facilitation of illumination of the oral cavity being serviced.
  10. Impeller – This is a part of a high-speed dental handpiece that helps to provide the rotation of the bur, or cutting tool.
  11. Lubricant – This is a type of liquid that is applied directly to the moving pieces of oral health dental care handpieces or a related attachment so that the friction is reduced, temperature is reduced, and parts are prevented from adhering to other parts. This also described a specially-designed solvent that is used for cleaning and may be placed on dental handpieces with an aerosol or a non-aerosol-based applicator tool.
  12. Nosecone – This is a type of straight attachment that is used with a slow speed handpiece motor that holds either a basic “U” attachment or a bur.
  13. Prophy Angle – This is a type of angle that is capable of attaching to a slow-speed handpiece or a nosecone. This angle may have a screw-in brush, cups that screw-in, or snap-on type cups.
  14. Turbine – This is a part that is located in the head piece of a high-speed dental handpiece. It achieves rotation by the direct use of air that has been compressed.
  15. Quick-Disconnect – This is a special attachment included on oral health dental care handpieces that allows dentists to easily separate the actual handpiece from the tubing.

In this brief guide, you have been introduced to the most common terminology as it pertains to oral health dental care handpieces. If you need more clarification, assistance in the purchase of oral health dental care handpieces, or maintenance on your products, call Hughes Diversified Dental Repair and Sales today at: 800-773-0800

Get Started on your
Dental Handpiece repair