Sable News


Factors to Consider When Purchasing a High Speed Dental Handpiece


You might not think of your dental handpiece as an investment, but it's a significant one nonetheless. It's a key component of your dental operations' productivity and efficiency ‒ when it’s working properly.  


When it’s not working properly… your high speed handpiece can feel more like a burden. 

But if you do your homework, you'll reap all the positives and avoid any negatives. 


With all that in mind, this article will discuss the necessary considerations that go into making this practice-defining purchase. 


The Nuts and Bolts of High Speed Dental Handpiece


First, a quick refresher on basic functionality of a high speed dental handpiece.

  • Handpieces work alongside a bur (i.e., a drill bit to a drill).
  • They operate at speeds between 200,000 rpm and 450,000 rpm 
  • These devices remove tooth tissue, prepares cavities for restoration/crowns 
  • They can cut through virtually anything (if the burr is correct) 
  • High speed handpieces incorporate cooling water spray to offset the pulp from overheating

6 Factors to Consider Before Buying a Handpiece


1. Torque Power


A large turbine will deliver more torque, which is directly related to the handpiece’s overall cutting power. The power of air-driven dental handpieces generally ranges from 12 W to 26 W. 


2. Bur Rotation Concentricity


Bur rotation concentricity defines the bur head’s precision manufacturing.


3. Noise


Controlling the noise levels of the handpiece during a procedure ensures the patient remains comfortable. It also prevents you from experiencing damage to your hearing. 


4. Warranty Length


The longer the warranty, the more confident the manufacturer is in their handpiece’s quality.


5. Turbine Repair Cost


Your turbine will likely need repairs or refurbishments when your warranty period ends. Before purchasing your high speed handpiece one should consider cost of repair.


6. Initial Cost


This is your upfront investment being made in each handpiece. 


The Battle Between Size and Power


When it comes to high speeds, there is a clear trade-off between handpiece head size and cutting power. 


When the head is larger, so is the turbine mass. The result? More cutting power, measured in torque (ounce-inches) and watt (energy). Torque will determine how long it takes to remove a specific amount of tooth material.  


Big powerful head sizes could impede your access and ability to see parts of the oral cavity. Although some handpieces with this feature can improve oral cavity access with their modified head-to-body angle. The 105° angle ensures your patients won’t feel any discomfort when you reach far back on their maxillary arch. 


While the goal of most manufacturers is to reduce the head size, they’ve often been handcuffed by the standard bearing sizes typically available.  


In fact, dental bearings were manufactured with 1 mm balls until just a few years back. 

But some models have dropped to a 0.75 mm bearing, allowing for a smaller head. 


However, these designs are proprietary and can’t be sold to anyone else. Therefore, you’d only be able to get such a handpiece repaired with the adhering manufacturer and nobody else. And that might cost you a little extra. 


Keep Regulatory Compliance in Mind


We’re at the tail-end of a pandemic, and it’s understandable if your practice is still trying to find its footing after a tough 2-plus years. 


As a result, you might be looking to cut costs whenever possible. But there are limits to a shoestring budget. You can’t let your attempts to be financially responsible lead you to cutting corners and purchasing a low-quality, off-brand handpiece from a sketchy internet company. 


Instead, regardless of your budget, you must ensure you’re using a product that’s regulatory compliant. That’s the only way to keep your patients safe and give them the quality of care they deserve.


Don’t Rush Your Decision


You and your patients deserve the best possible high speed handpiece your budget will allow. It’s okay to spend a little bit extra for quality if it means you’ll end up getting the most use out of it. 


Don’t be afraid to ask questions and look up product reviews. And do whatever is necessary to ensure you’re landing on a product that bolsters the quality of your dental care. 

at 11:40 AM
RSS icon Facebook icon Twitter icon LinkedIn icon


Blog Contributor Portrait
Name: Generic Administrator
Posts: 17
Last Post: November 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