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Dental handpieces are essential tools in every dental clinic; they help dentists and hygienists perform dental procedures with ease and precision. Understanding the types of dental handpieces available can help dental professionals choose the best tool for the specific procedure they perform. In this article, we will discuss the two most common types of dental handpieces, their functions, and their benefits.
1. High-Speed Handpiece: An Overview
A high-speed handpiece is one of the most popular dental handpieces used. It is also known as a turbine or air-driven handpiece. This type of handpiece runs on compressed air, which activates its rotor and propels the bur at high speeds. High-speed handpieces can reach speeds of up to 400,000 revolutions per minute (RPM). These handpieces are commonly used in restorative dentistry, such as preparing a tooth for a filling or crown.
2. Advantages of High-Speed Handpieces
High-speed handpieces boast numerous benefits. For starters, they are incredibly versatile; they can work on both enamel and dentin efficiently. High-speed handpieces are also efficient at removing caries or tooth decay, which makes them ideal for preparing a tooth for treatment.
Additionally, high-speed handpieces cut through a patients enamel quickly and smoothly, reducing patient discomfort during the procedure. They also produce a fine stream of water, which helps to cool the high-speed handpieces bur. The water stream further reduces heat and friction during use. Furthermore, high-speed handpieces are autoclavable, meaning they can be sterilized after each use, reducing the risk of cross-contamination.
3. Low-Speed Handpiece: An Overview
A low-speed handpiece is one of the most underrated dental handpieces, yet one of the most critical tools in a dental professionals toolbox. This type of dental handpiece is slower, running at approximately 30,000 RPM. The low-speed handpiece keeps the bur cutting at a slow and steady pace to remove caries, prep teeth for restorations, polish dental fillings, and much more.
4. Advantages of Low-Speed Handpieces
Low-speed handpieces are brilliant at producing a high torque, which makes them ideal for heavy-duty dental procedures. They are excellent at pinpoint accuracy because of the firm grip this handpiece provides. Low-speed handpieces precision-cutting capabilities make them ideal for work on a patients temporomandibular joint (TMJ), labial or lingual coronal surfaces, and in crown or bridge seatingsin locations where high-speed handpieces could potentially damage surrounding teeth or tissue.
Moreover, low-speed handpiecess low speeds can create minimal noise during a procedure, promoting a low-stress environment in the dental office. In turn, it can help put anxious or nervous patients at ease. Additionally, low-speed handpieces have multiple attachments, including prophy cups, a mandrel for discs, and polishing cones, which makes these handpieces ideal for removing old restoration material, finishing dental fillings, or polishing teeth.
5. Which Handpiece is Right for You?
When it comes to deciding which handpiece is best, it all depends on the dental procedure you're performing. If preparing a patients tooth for treatment, removing tooth decay, or prepping teeth for a crown or filling, a high-speed handpiece is most likely the best choice. If performing polishing or low-stress dentistry, a low-speed handpiece is probably the ideal choice.
In conclusion, high-speed and low-speed handpieces are both essential instruments in dentistry. Dental professionals must have both handpieces in their practice to work adequately; as a result, it ensures the best results for their patients. By knowing the functions and advantages of both dental handpieces, dental professionals can make informed decisions about which handpiece to choose for specific procedures.
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