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Properly Caring for the Air-Turbine Dental Handpieces in Your Practice

Air-Turbine Dental HandpiecesProperly Caring for the Air-Turbine Dental Handpieces in Your Practice

If you utilize air-turbine dental handpieces in your practice, it is imperative that you know how to properly care for those handpieces. Dental handpieces that are not properly cared for and maintained could result in patient discomfort and injuries, lower levels of productivity, and higher costs to your practice. In this brief guide, we will be outlining a few steps that may be taken to ensure that your air-turbine dental handpieces are working optimally, at all times. By following these tips, you are sure to find that your dental handpieces result in higher levels of patient comfort, practice productivity, and profits:

  1. Once you use your dental handpiece, you should ensure that it is properly lubed. While this may prove to be a time consuming activity, it is a necessary one that will aid in ensuring that your instruments last longer.
  2. It is common to find that most air-turbine dental handpieces have ceramic bearings. When lubing your dental handpieces, it is important to ensure that you lubricate the chuck of the device with a can that has a small adapter that will allow you to spray the lube directly into the chuck. Standard oiling practices often do not result in enough lubricant being placed in the chuck.
  3. You should ensure that you always have the proper air pressure running through the line supply. Pressure that is too high could result in vast amounts of damage to the bearings.
  4. When sterilizing your air-turbine dental handpieces, it is critical that you avoid temperatures that exceed 275°F. If you fail to follow these steps, the internal parts of your dental handpieces will become overheated and may experience failure during use.
  5. Before operating your air-turbine dental handpieces in your practice, it is important that you always look to ensure that the bur of the dental instrument is securely in place. Failure to do this could result in the bur being ejected from the handpiece and/or loss of mechanical functioning of the device.
  6. Most of the air-turbine dental handpieces that are currently on the market contain ceramic bearings. According to research, ceramic heats up far more quickly than the traditional stainless steel material in which bearings were previously composed. As a result of this fact, you must make sure that your handpieces have a constant flow of water. This water will reduce the temperature of the bearings. If you fail to take this step, you will find that the bearings in your dental handpieces burn out more quickly than if the water supply is readily available for cooling.
  7. If you are not certified to handle the maintenance and repair of dental handpieces, you should enlist the assistance of a professional that holds this certification.


Air-turbine dental handpieces require special care. This is especially true if the dental instruments include internal components that are composed of ceramic and not stainless steel. Here, you have been introduced to several steps that may be taken to ensure patient safety, patient comfort, and higher levels of productivity for your practice. If you are not certified to handle these steps or the maintenance/repair of your dental handpieces, we here at Hughes Dental are standing by to assist you. Simply call us today at: 800-773-0800


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