Syringe Q & A

  • What is a three way air/water syringe?

    What it means is that when you press one button you get air and the other one is for water. If both buttons are pressed at the same time, you get mist.

  • My syringe is not dispensing water. What do I need to do?

    The most common issue are clogs. It is either in the syringe itself or somewhere in your water line. For unclogging the water line, see Tech Tips #18. For more a/w syringe troubleshooting, see Practice Tips #43.

  • I am using my syringe for cheek retraction, but the tip is spinning. How can I prevent this from happening?

    With all syringes you will get some spinning of the tip. If you want to use a syringe for cheek retraction, our DCI syringe (#01-01Q) can be used in conjunction with our DCI rotation lock syringe tip (#01-97). Those items are designed for cheek retraction when used together. Of course, relying on physics and just pulling with the tip, rather than pushing, will also work.

  • How do I install my syringe?

    This is a very common question. Lucky for you, we have a whole Tech Tip dedicated to this topic. Please see Practice Tips #6 for more explanation.

  • My syringe is leaking, what could be wrong? How do I fix it?

    There are a few reasons this could be happening and it is very easy to fix it. See Practice Tips #12 and Practice Tips #13 to find out what are the common leaky culprits.

  • My patients complain about the water being too cold on their teeth. What do you suggest I do?

    We have a couple water warmers (#49-02) that will help with that. They fit in your junction box and will warm water for you complete delivery unit or for your a/w syringe specifically. We, also, have heated syringe systems that use special tubing designed specifically for providing instant warm water directly to the syringe.

  • The buttons on my syringe are sticking. Do I need to replace them?

    Build up can occur on your a/w syringe, which prevents the buttons from working properly. Before you replace them, remove the buttons and use an abrasive, such as steel wool, and clean out the inside of the hole of the button. Then take some silicone lubricant (#03-40) and put it in the hole. This should alleviate your issue. Please refer to our Practice Tips #43 for more explanation. You might have to replace your buttons, if this doesn't work.

  • I have leak coming from the air/water line connected to my syringe. I disconnected the metal syringe & switched off the entire unit, but there is still a leak. Where is the leak coming from?

    Is the water coming out of the water line or the air line? With the syringe disconnected, turn the unit back on (have a bucket or towels ready). There should be a steady stream of water from one & air from the other. If you have a stream & mist, you have water in your air line (cross-over). You probably need a new master valve for the water (see Practice Tips #50 & #51). If you have water from one & air from the other, then your water is failing to shut off. Check for clogs. In order for the water and air to shut off, the air pressure that activates it needs to be relieved (exhaust). If it doesn't, your water will continue to drip.

  • I'm looking at going green when it comes to my air/water syringe tips. How long will the tips last? Will a sterilizer destroy all of the bacteria that can accumulate inside of the tip?

    Metal syringe tips can last for a long time (at least a year - sometimes longer depending on the amount of use). Besides being more environmentally safe, metal tips offer better performance, leaking less often, staying in the syringe better, and proves more rigidity if using for retraction. Disposable tips will sometimes require a special adaptor, making it more difficult to work with. As far as sterilization goes, the interior surfaces of the tips could be kept clean in an ultrasonic, but it isn't necessary. If you aren't changing the tips after ever patient, then that's when you should be concerned about biofilm and other deposits forming on the inside of the syringe tips. If you are changing and sterilizing the tips after every patient, you should be fine without an ultrasonic.

  • There was a big procedure at work today, but my syringe and electric handpiece weren't dispensing water, just air. After a while, water started coming out of my syringe just fine. Should I get my unit looked at by a technician?

    You have a clog somewhere in your unit. Start at the source and check the filter on the water master valve. If the filter is clogged, you can temporarily remove the filter element and continue the procedure until you can get a replacement. You can also use your ultrasonic cleaner to clean out the clogged filter for a quick, but temporary fix. If the filter isn’t clogged, or the issue persists even without a filter element in place, check the outlet ports from the master checking for clogs there. Continue checking connections downstream until you locate the clog. See more about clogs in our Practice Tip #18.

  • There is a tiny drip of water coming from my dental syringe and all the handpiece lines. My water pressure is at 30 psi. What is causing the water to leak?

    It is most likely a combination of factors, but the first concern is your extremely low main air pressure. This should be set at 80 psi at the junction box or 90 psi at the compressor. Low air pressure like yours is allowing water to continuously leak of the handpiece lines. One factor that could be contributing to your issue as well are other issues going on in your unit, but the low air pressure could be allowing water to leak out everywhere. Your air and water syringe almost certainly has a bad button too- possibly failed from biofilm. The button (or valve core below your syringe) controls the water on/off function. If water is coming out when the button isn't depressed, that valve is bad and needs to be replaced.