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Top Handpiece Maintenance Mistakes Dentists Make

There are several handpiece maintenance mistakes made by dental doctors when it comes to their in-office dental care products. If you are a dentist and you own and/or operate an office, it is imperative that you strive to avoid these common maintenance mistakes when it comes to your handpieces. In doing so, you will avoid issues such as dental care product contamination, mechanical complications, the accumulation of moisture, and similar issues.


1. The first and most common mistake by dental doctors is the failure to clean and maintain the autoclave of the handpieces. If this is not done on a regular basis, the buildup may start to develop. As this buildup progresses, the entire unit may become completely contaminated.

2. When caring for the handpiece dental care product, many dental doctors will use a chemical-based wipe on their devices before going through the process of sterilization. This should not be done because harmful reactions may start to develop when your handpiece experiences the higher temperatures associated with an autoclave run or cycle.

3. Many dental doctors will place their handpieces into an ultra-sonic type of cleaner, believing that it will assist in cleaning their dental care product. However, dental handpieces should never be immersed in any type of fluid as it could result in damage.

4. The next mistake that is commonly made when it comes to dental handpieces is that the item is removed from the drying cycle and is finished or before the dental care product has completely cooled. If this happens, condensation may start to develop within the handpiece. Then, rust will develop, rendering the dental care product completely useless.

5. Many dental doctors incorrectly lubricate their dental handpieces by placing the lubrication substance within the wrong hole. It is important to understand that the air tube is the only line that goes directly to the turbine of the unit and the other moving parts. The other holes on the handpiece are for exhaust purposes, air, or water. None of the remaining holes should come in contact with lubricant.

6. Once dental doctors have lubricated the proper hole, they fail to turn on and run their handpiece. This is a major mistake. Once lubrication has been applied, it is imperative to allow the unit to run for a while. Failure to take this step will result in the gumming up of the oil inside of the turbine of the unit, and the other moving parts of the unit.

7. Many dental doctors fail to thoroughly clean the fiber optic region of their handpiece. In order to ensure that the operating field is bright and functioning, these surfaces must be cleaned on a regular basis.

There are many common mistakes made by dental doctors when it comes to their dental care products – especially dental handpieces.

In this guide, you have been introduced to these mistakes and the steps necessary to correct these mistakes.

If you find that your facility is challenged by the proper maintenance and general care of your dental handpieces, contact us today for assistance at: 800-773-0800.

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