Sable News


How To Properly Store Your Dental Handpieces To Prolong Their Lifespan


Dental handpieces play a pivotal role in the success of your practice, enabling you to deliver exceptional care that your patients rely on.  


However, finding high-quality, cost-efficient dental handpieces and parts can be a challenge, as reliable options often come with a baseline price that reflects their significance in oral care.  


While it might be tempting to opt for cheaper alternatives, constantly replacing subpar handpieces can take a toll on your bottom line in the long run. 


But it's not just about investing in reliable handpieces; maintaining them properly is equally crucial for their peak performance and longevity. Failing to care for your dental handpieces can lead to decreased efficiency and a shorter lifespan, ultimately impacting the quality of care you provide to your patients. 


To help you optimize your dental handpiece maintenance, we've compiled 10 essential suggestions for properly storing these critical tools.  


By following these 10 guidelines, you can streamline maintenance efforts and extend the lifespan of your dental handpieces and their parts.


1. Clean Thoroughly Prior to Storage


Before you even think about storing your dental handpieces, a meticulous cleaning and disinfection process is a must.  


Following the manufacturer's guidelines is vital, but let's go over the general procedures that will help keep your handpieces in top-notch condition:

  • Flush with Water: Begin the cleaning process by flushing the handpiece with water. This step effectively removes contaminants, debris, and organic matter that might have accumulated during use. 
  • Handpiece-Specific Cleaner: Use a handpiece-specific cleaner recommended by the manufacturer. This specialized cleaner ensures a thorough cleansing, leaving no trace of harmful deposits. 
  • Lubricate the Internal Components: Proper lubrication is essential for maintaining the functionality of your dental handpieces. Lubrication reduces friction and prevents corrosion, resulting in a smooth and seamless operation. By doing so, you'll also prevent premature wear and tear.

Taking time to properly clean and disinfect your dental handpieces helps ensure they will continue to function well for many years to come.


2. Lubricate for Smooth Sailings


Lubrication is an often overlooked but crucial step in the care of your dental handpieces.


Ensuring they remain functional during storage is vital, and proper lubrication plays a significant role in achieving this: 


Lubrication reduces friction and protects the internal components from corrosion, providing a much-needed protective coating. This not only maintains the handpiece's seamless operation but also extends its lifespan. 


Remember, always use the lubricant recommended by the manufacturer to ensure optimal results.  


Properly lubricating your dental handpiece helps prevent potential issues that may arise from improper lubrication, making sure your handpieces are ready for action.


3. Sterilize When Necessary


While not all dental handpieces require autoclaving, for those that do, sterilization before storage is essential. If your practice doesn't currently autoclave, it's still worth reading this section, as you may consider autoclave-compatible handpieces in the future. 


Autoclaving eliminates potential pathogens, ensuring your handpiece is ready for use when needed.  


Always follow the specific sterilization guidelines provided by the dental handpiece manufacturer to prevent any damage during this process.


4. Use Protective Bur Guards


Preserving the integrity of your dental handpieces involves safeguarding their essential components.


The bur and shank, being delicate in nature, require extra protection, and that's where bur guards come into play. 


Bur guards serve as robust shields, effectively preventing accidental damage, bending, or any harm to the bur area.  


Before placing a bur guard on your handpiece, make sure to clean and dry it thoroughly.


Additionally, invest in a bur guard that is specifically crafted to fit your handpiece model to ensure a snug and secure fit.


5. Invest in Optimal Packaging


To shield your dental handpieces from environmental factors during storage, it's essential to use the appropriate packaging for optimal protection. Manufacturers often offer custom storage containers and pouches designed explicitly for this purpose. 


When selecting packaging, prioritize clean, dry containers that are appropriately labeled for easy handpiece organization and identification.  


Storing dental handpieces in an upright position is crucial to prevent moisture accumulation, damage to delicate components, and pooling of lubricants. 


To further safeguard against accidental falls, consider using specially designed holders and stands to securely store your dental handpieces.


6. Organize for Efficiency 


In addition to prolonging the lifespan of your dental handpieces, proper storage practices can significantly impact your workflow. Organizing your storage space efficiently will enhance the overall functioning of your dental practice. 


Begin by designating a specific storage area for your handpieces. This ensures that your team knows exactly where to locate and return the equipment after use, promoting order and efficiency. 


For handpieces serving different purposes, labeling them with sterilization-safe markers is a smart move. Indicate the sterilization date and intended usage, and arrange them in such a way that the most recently sterilized equipment is placed at the back. This way, you'll use the handpieces that were sterilized earlier first, maintaining a rotation system. 


Following these organization practices will improve your dental practice's efficiency, reduce clutter, and improve safety. Not just about protecting your equipment; it's also about optimizing your workflow for the best possible patient care. 


7. Control Temperature and Humidity 


Extreme temperatures and excessive humidity can take a toll on dental handpieces, leading to internal damage and compromised performance.  


Handpieces should be stored in a climate-controlled environment according to the manufacturer's recommended humidity and temperature ranges. 


8. Choose the Ideal Storage Location 


It is very easy for handpieces to get damaged when stored or to get misplaced by accident. 


Consider designating a drawer or locked cabinet that is easily accessible and secure to mitigate these risks. Choose a storage location that is free of hazards, moisture, and direct sunlight. 


Prioritizing the right storage location not only maximizes their lifespan but also streamlines your workflow.. 


9. Have a Consistent Inspection and Maintenance Routine 


Keeping an eye on the health of your dental handpieces is crucial to catch signs of wear, damage, or malfunction before they escalate. 


It’s important that you check for leaks, loose connections, and unusual sounds on a regular basis. 


In the event of an issue, follow the manufacturer's recommended maintenance procedures. When you have a problem, contact a reputable repair service right away to avoid more extensive, costly repairs. 


10. Follow Your Dental Handpiece Manufacturer’s Guidelines 


Dental handpieces are intricate pieces of equipment with specific requirements. Improvising storage and maintenance efforts can lead to performance and reliability issues, resulting in unnecessary expenses and disruptions to your practice. 


To avoid such setbacks, diligently follow the manufacturer's guidelines for storage, maintenance, lubrication, and cleaning. These detailed instructions are designed to increase longevity and optimize performance, ultimately saving you time and money. 


Storage is the First Step to Handpiece Peak Performance 


As a dental professional, your primary goal is to provide exceptional patient care. However, the efficiency and profitability of your practice also play a crucial role in achieving this objective. 


By investing time and effort into proper storage, maintenance, and adherence to manufacturer guidelines, you protect your valuable dental handpieces, ensuring they perform at their peak.  


This, in turn, allows you to focus on what matters most: delivering optimal oral health care to your patients and for long-term success!

Generic Administrator at 8:01 AM
RSS icon Facebook icon Twitter icon LinkedIn icon


Blog Contributor Portrait
Name: Generic Administrator
Posts: 15
Last Post: September 13, 2023
Blog Contributor Portrait
Name: Suzanne Chalk
Posts: 8
Last Post: February 27, 2020
Blog Contributor Portrait
Name: Christopher Zielinsky
Posts: 23
Last Post: January 15, 2020

Latest Posts

Show All Recent Posts



Dental Hygienist Dentists Dental Practices Off Topic Software Solutions Dental Office Tooth Enamel Endocrine Disruptors Oral Health Tooth Decay Bioactive Glass Dental Fillings Oral Surgery Oral Surgery Recovery Dental Patients Dentist Anxiety Patient Therapy Oil Pulling Teeth Whitening Bad Breath Tooth Discolouration Oral Screening Ergonomics Musculoskeletal Disorders Dental Equipment Handpiece Dental School Chairside Burnout Ondontophobia Pet Dental Care