Practice Tips #65: Maintaining Your Handpiece

Maintaining your handpieces can often be an overlooked component to dentistry. Avoid hot gears from lack of oil and flattened bearings from overuse. Dentists rely on high-performance handpieces to provide the best quality care to their patients. Even the best equipment can malfunction due to the lack of proper care, so American Dental Accessories is here to help you maximize the potential of your dental handpieces in a cost-effective and preventive way.

We suggest you print and post the following step-by-step list near your sterilization area as a handpiece care reminder and for easy reference.

How to Maintain Your Handpiece

Step 1: Clean the exterior of the handpiece using a mild soap and water solution to remove the gross debris in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Step 2: Once you clean the handpiece thoroughly, place a few drops of handpiece lubricant into the drive air hole of the handpiece per the following diagram:
Handpiece Drive Air Lubrication

Run the handpiece until nothing but clean lube comes out (flush all debris). Continue to run until all excess lube has been expelled as well. NOTE: It may be necessary to repeat this step to expel all debris.

Step 3: For lube-free handpieces, perform the above procedure using a handpiece cleaner, rather than a lubricant.

Step 4: The above procedure is for high-speed handpieces and slow-speed motors. For slow-speed and electric attachments, spray lubricant into the handpiece from below and the attachment installed on a motor. Run to expel any debris and distribute the lubricant.

Step 5: Once you flush all debris, sterilize it in a chemical vapor or steam sterilizer at or below 275º F. Reference your sterilizer handpiece manufacturer's instructions for temperature.

Step 6: After sterilizing, remove the handpiece from your sterilizer and allow to cool completely.

Step 7: Most lubricants do not break down in the sterilizer, so you no longer need to lubricate after sterilization.

Your handpiece is now ready to use!

If you still need maintaining your handpiece help, please look at our post on Dental Handpiece Maintenance tips. You can alsocall us with any other questions you might have. For additional handpiece maintenance and repair information see: The Blue Handbook: How to Care for Your Dental Handpiece.


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