Dental turbine handpieces are marvelous tools, but even the best of them can experience some hiccups along the way. Here are a few common culprits that can cause failures in dental turbine handpieces:
- 1. Contaminants: Dental procedures involve various materials and substances, including saliva, blood, and dental materials. If these contaminants find their way into the handpiece, they can compromise the smooth operation of the turbine and its bearings. The main contaminants are organic compounds from the patient, the debris in the compressed air and water.
- 2. Improper Handling: Mishandling the handpiece, such as dropping it or using excessive pressure loads or too much side load during work, could result in damage to delicate components and affect the overall functionality. It is often that the handpiece could be run without using the bur, which may affect the chuck mechanism. Beside that using the push button to stop rotation of rotors is not the best practice, since is causes faster wear of materials.
- 3. Lack of Maintenance: Neglecting regular maintenance and lubrication can lead to the accumulation of debris and reduced performance over time. It’s essential to follow manufacturer guidelines for cleaning and maintenance to keep the handpiece in optimal condition.
- 4. Water and Moisture: Lack of maintenance and leaking water inside the handpiece could impact the internal mechanisms of the handpiece, causing corrosion and potential damage to ball bearings
- 5. Overheating: Prolonged and intense use without allowing sufficient cooling time can cause the handpiece to overheat, leading to potential failure.
- 6. Improper desinfection and sterilization: Use of inccorect cleaning agents and sterilization protocols could affect the performance of the turbine. Sterilization is a process which in the long run will ruin the handpiece, but it is essential to be performed after each patient.
- 7. Improper components: The dentist may use improper / cheaper burs in order to save money, which may affect the overall durability of the rotor chuch mechanism, since the eccentricity at higher speed, could soon damage the chuck and the ball bearings.
- 8. Improper repair service: Repairing dental turbines does not mean only replacing the rotor, but there are many more factors which should be taken into consideration, such as sealing of all components, wear of other parts, cleanliness, exterior damages, proper installation of washers and o-rings, etc…
While these factors can contribute to failures in dental turbine handpieces, it’s important to remember that regular maintenance, proper handling, and using high-quality components can significantly minimize the risk of such issues. Always consult with a professional dental repair technician for any concerns or necessary repairs to keep your handpieces running smoothly and delighting patients with their impeccable performance.