You might not know it, but your car and your handpiece have something in common. Namely, there comes a point where you must decide whether it’s still worth repairing them.
Sometimes, the decision is easy; other times, it’s a real head-scratcher.
There’s somewhat of a balancing act here. After all, air-driven dental handpieces are a substantial investment for a small dental practice!
So, when is it time to move on from your old, faithful handpiece and invest in a replacement?
Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re weighing the decision to replace your dental handpiece.
Does The Compressor Have Mildew?
Draining your Compressor every day ensures water won't buildup inside the compressor. Failing to perform this straightforward task will promote the formation of mildew, which can cause compressor backups.
Your handpiece can only function with dry air, and this buildup of water might render the handpiece unusable. Check your compressor for dirt and mildew by emptying them onto a clean, moist cloth.
Eventually, after years of usage, the mildew might be unconquerable. At this point, it's time to purchase a new and improved model.
Is Your Handpiece Getting Rusty?
By now, you probably know you should never completely submerge your handpiece in water. If you do, there's a chance the equipment won't dry out properly and eventually develop internal rust.
All your handpiece’s moving parts are at risk of rust’s destructive force. A repair is no longer an option when there’s over-rusting. You’ll have no choice but to buy a newer, more expensive model.
Is The Turbine Clogged With Oil?
Yes, lubrication is 100% crucial in optimizing your handpiece’s function and lengthening its shelf-life. Still, that doesn’t mean you should be careless with how you apply the lubricant!
More specifically, the correct pieces must be lubricated. Each model has its own nuances on this front. You must read the manual to ensure you're adhering to the manufacturer’s specifications.
And don’t forget to run the handpiece after you’ve applied the lubricant. Failing to perform this step can cause oil to build-up in the turbine.
When this does happen, there’s often the potential for a successful repair ‒ but replacement could well be your only choice.
Is The Handpiece Causing You Downtime?
Here’s where the car analogy in the introduction truly comes into play.
Say you're still driving a 1993 Automobile. It might even – sort of – get you from A to B, but it's slow and unpredictable, always holding on for dear life. You need more from your vehicle to garner any real value from it!
Similarly, you and your patients need more from your handpiece than something that “works” but is dull and cumbersomely inefficient.
First and foremost, poorly functioning handpieces are extraordinarily slow. Not only is that inconvenient and uncomfortable for your patients, but it also hurts your bottom line if you can't see as many people throughout a given day.
Once you notice an abundance of downtime and a lack of efficiency with your handpiece, it’s time to consider moving on.
Can You Find Replacement Parts?
For top brands like Kavo, NSK, Bien Air, Midwest, Scican and Sirona, there’s a wealth of high-quality handpiece replacement parts available for repairs. However, the same cannot be said for all dental handpieces on the market.
Be sure to use only replacement parts made from high-quality materials! Otherwise, it won't be long before you're paying for another repair, or more likely, a full-on handpiece replacement.
Sable Industries carries a complete line-up of premium quality air driven handpiece parts, electric 1:5 speed increaser parts, and a variety of small equipment parts. Contact us for assistance finding the replacement handpiece part that fits your needs.
Is Your Handpiece a Pain To Use?
Clinicians with smaller hands, or who grasp the equipment close to the working end, often struggle with shorter handpieces due to less torque.
Furthermore, handle designs come in varying diameters, surfaces, weights, and balances. Note that diameters are between 6mm to 16mm.
According to recent research, up to 10mm-diameter handles are considered larger. They don’t necessitate much muscle and pinch force to operate efficiently. Anything more substantial in size won’t provide any extra advantage.
There’s a chance your current handpiece doesn’t meet your ergonomic specifications. In this instance, it’s wise to look for a high-performing, ergonomically inclined replacement ‒ for your sake and your patients’!
Your reputation as a dental professional largely hinges upon the tools you use. Give yourself the best opportunity to flourish in your role by ensuring your practice is equipped with a high-performing, well-maintained handpiece!