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Why Do We Oil Dental Handpieces?
Dental handpieces are essential tools in the dental industry, used by dentists and dental assistants to perform a range of dental procedures. These handpieces require routine maintenance to ensure that they function correctly and have a prolonged lifespan. One of the critical maintenance tasks is oiling the handpieces, a process that may seem insignificant but is vital to the performance of the tool. In this article, we'll explore the importance of oiling dental handpieces and the benefits it provides.
What is a dental handpiece?
A dental handpiece is a power-driven instrument used to perform dental procedures. It operates by rotating either a bur or a latch on the end of the tool. There are two types of dental handpieces: air-driven and electric. The air-driven handpiece uses compressed air to spin the bur, while the electric handpiece operates using electricity. Both types are essential tools in the dental industry and require proper maintenance.
What happens when a dental handpiece is not oiled?
When dental handpieces are not oiled, they may become sluggish, vibrate excessively, generate heat and wear out quicker. This is mainly because the metal parts within the handpiece rub against each other, causing friction. Oiling the handpiece ensures that it operates smoothly, reducing friction and preventing excessive heat buildup.
How often should you oil a dental handpiece?
Ideally, dental handpieces should be oiled before each use. This helps to ensure that the handpiece is adequately lubricated, operates smoothly and prolongs its lifespan. However, if this is not possible, the handpiece should be oiled at least once a day or after every ten uses. If the handpiece is not used for an extended period, it should be oiled before use.
What type of oil should you use for a dental handpiece?
The type of oil used for a dental handpiece is critical as it affects the performance of the tool. When selecting the oil, it should be suitable for the handpiece and readily available. Generally, high-quality mineral oil with a low viscosity and excellent lubrication properties is recommended for dental handpieces. However, not all oils are the same, and it's essential to use the oil recommended by the handpiece manufacturer. It's also crucial to ensure that the oil is pure, clean and free from contaminants as this may affect the performance of the handpiece.
How do you oil a dental handpiece?
Oiling a dental handpiece is a straightforward process that can be done quickly. To oil the handpiece, the following steps should be taken:
1. Clean the handpiece using a disinfectant or alcohol swab.
2. Apply a drop or two of oil into the handpiece's air or electric motor, depending on the type of handpiece.
3. Connect the handpiece to an air supply or electric source and run it for a few seconds.
4. Wipe away any excess oil using a clean, lint-free cloth.
Oiling dental handpieces is essential to the proper functioning of the tool, improves its lifespan, and reduces the risk of damage to the handpiece. Maintenance of the handpiece should be a routine task, and neglecting to oil the handpiece can lead to serious damage, costly repairs or replacement of the tool. It's essential to follow the manufacturer's guidelines on oiling, select the appropriate oil, and adopt a consistent oiling routine for proper maintenance of dental handpieces.
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