At the forefront of every dental professional’s mind at the moment is infection control and aerosol splatter reduction to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Air-driven handpieces arguably produce more airborne contamination than any other instrument in dentistry. Therefore many dentists are switching to electric speed-increasing contra angle handpieces instead of high speed turbines. As well as generating fewer aerosols they provide a consistent torque that does not decrease with resistance and higher load.
- Dr Basil Mizrahi B.D.S. M.Sc (Rand) M.Ed. Cert in Prosthodontics (USA), Specialist in Prosthodontics & Restorative Dentistry
Other advantages of electric handpieces include:
- Patients tend to prefer electric handpieces because they are significantly quieter and don’t produce the same vibratory sensation.
- They tend to produce a smoother and more precise cutting edge, due to the stable speed.
- They are more efficient at cutting various materials used in dentistry, especially machinable glass ceramic, silver amalgam, and high noble alloy.
- Smaller head diameter results in a better sight of the preparation area.
- Most models are equipped with an LED light.
- Easy to integrate with your existing set-up
When using a foot pedal operated turbine, most clinicians find it operates well at full speed, but when the speed is reduced for fine margin preparation, torque is lost and the bur stops turning, this is particularly disruptive when trying to achieve a very precise margin. The speed increasing contra-angle uses the same burs as a turbine, but with the extra advantage of delivering greater speed control throughout the process: high speed, high torque for gross reduction; slow speed, high torque for fine margin preparation. The whole procedure with one contra-angle. Additionally, a speed increasing contra-angle can be used in short bursts at very slow speed to prepare palatal margins without water, which is impossible with a turbine.
Clean Head System
Non-suckback system to prevent cross contamination in speed increasing contra-angles and turbines.
Non Retraction Valve
Non-suckback system to prevent cross contamination in the waterline for both turbines and micromotors
Henry Schein offers a range of electric contra-angle handpieces from: BA International, NSK and Kavo which generate fewer aerosols. They all benefit from a clean head system and internal anti-retraction valves which prevent cross-contamination of the water line.
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NSK have also produced an interesting video which compares the aerosols generated by turbines and electric speed-increasing contra-angles
The NSK Ti-Max Z45L and X450L handpieces use water jet coolant (water only) rather than spray (water and air mix) which significantly reduces aerosol and are therefore more suitable for specific surgical procedures. The same effect can also be achieved with other handpieces by turning off the spray air from your dental chair.
You also don’t need to adapt your chair to provide a motor: there are some very cost-effective plug-and-play electric micromotors that connect directly to your chair’s existing air supply, with prices starting from £612.49. Find out how to install a micromotor in this video from BA International.
B.A. International has been providing handpiece repair and sales services to dental clinicians up and down the country whilst maintaining the highest quality at the lowest prices. With over 150 combined years, they also have the longest serving expertise and experience in the dental handpiece repair field. You should have received one of their repair bags through the door of your practice during closure. They can also offer a simple service on handpieces to make sure they are fully functional when you re-start AGP treatments.
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