Practice Tip #110: Top 10 Tips! (Part 1)

Practice Tips has been hitting thousands of e-mail inboxes on a monthly basis since July of 2008. As we approach our 10th anniversary, we’re going to take some time to review some of the most popular tips. These are not only the tips that are most frequently viewed, but also the tips we most commonly refer our customers to in order to help them resolve trouble they’re having in the dental office. This month, we’ll begin the countdown and rattle off the bottom 5 positions of the top 10.

#10 — Recommended Tools for Repairing and Maintaining Equipment

Going back to the beginning, our second issue of Practice Tips consists of a list of helpful tools to have on hand to make sure you can keep your equipment running and reduce down time. The list includes a mix of basic hand tools, as well as some specialty tools and dental instruments that can be used in equipment repair and maintenance. Did you know: a stethoscope will help you hear noises in your equipment that you might not be able to hear normally? Knowing where a noise is coming from will aid in determining what needs to be fixed or not. 

#9 — Operatory Light Troubles

Issue #103 isn’t even a year old and has already proved to be immensely popular. This issue covers the basics of trouble-shooting operating lights that won’t light. Hint: it isn’t always the bulb. Did you know: a malfunctioning light switch could be caused by disinfectant solution this is affecting the wiring or internal switch mechanism. Issue #103 covers all the other possibilities as well.

#8 — Pneumatics

Next on our list are actually two posts: #3 and #73. Both issues discuss the basics of pneumatics and how dental delivery systems work. They provide a quality foundation upon which to build your knowledge of dental equipment. Did you know: the golden rule for air and water pressure is 2:1? Having the correct pressure in your dental unit is important to the proper function of your equipment.

#7 — Handpiece Maintenance

Handpieces are used every day in the dental office and are vital instruments in performing dentistry. Inadequate maintenance is the #1 cause of high-speed handpiece failure and has been linked to overheating and patient burns by the FDA. It is important to keep up on your maintenance. Our issue #65 covered the simple steps necessary to keep your handpieces running well. Did you know: you should be cleaning your handpiece after every patient and prior to sterilization? Flush your handpiece with lubricant until clean lube comes out to be sure all the debris has been cleared out before autoclaving.

#6 — Syringes

We’ve had many issues of our Practice Tips newsletter dedicated to the humble air/water syringe. Issues #12 and #13 are a two-part issue dedicated to maintenance and repair of these dental equipment work horses. Did you know: if your dental syringe is leaking, it could be due to a bad button? Compare your buttons to our photos to find a match.  Hopefully you learned a few things or were reminded of the importance of proper dental repair and maintenance. Next month we’ll finish the list with the final 5, so stay tuned for more of the best of Practice Tips.