For those of you who are still not familiar with dental handpieces and what they do for your dental procedure, this article is for you. The way you heard about a dental handpiece may be from your dentist explaining something to a colleague, or your dentist friend thinking about where to purchase his. But no matter what, if it makes you curious about that dental handpieces are, then we are here to guide you through the confusing yet exciting world of dental handpieces.
A Dental Handpiece
What is a dental handpiece for? It is also known as the dental drill handpiece. The last time you visited your dentist, did you notice the pen-like instrument attached to the dental chair that your dentist used to clean your teeth? That is a dental handpiece. Actually, it is not just for cleaning your teeth; it does a lot of things.
- It primarily removes the plaque and tartar buildup in the surface of your teeth
- It removes the damaged parts of the tooth so as to eliminate tooth decay
- It helps prepare the tooth for different dental procedures like fillings and crown placement
- It shapes the tooth in preparation for a root canal treatment
- It has different burs that you can attach as its head to cut, clean, and polish the teeth
Choosing the suitable dental handpieces for your practice would rely on what dental procedures you are offering to your patients and what you prefer when it comes to your comfort and your use.
Types Of Dental Handpieces
There are primarily two categories of dental handpieces types; it is based on the tool’s speed and design.
Handpiece Speed: High-Speed Dental vs. Low-Speed Dental Handpieces
High-speed dental handpieces can differ by design, form, and building materials, but they will all run at a speed between 250,000 to 400,000 RPMs. Low-speed dental handpieces can only run between 100 to 140,000 RPMs, with a typical average speed of around 80,000 RPMs.
Handpiece Design: Air-Driven Vs. Electric Handpiece
There are two systems used to power your dental handpieces. It can be by using air turbines or preferring electric. Air-driven dental handpieces contain a spinning turbine powered by compressed air to generate rotation. This type can reach the speed of up to 400,000 rpm with a changeable torque. Electric dental handpieces, on the other hand, use an electric motor to force the head and can be considered to have its own entire system. Internal gears allow this type of handpiece design to run at a constant torque with steady power with the speed of up to 200,000 rpm.
Comparison Between Air-Driven And Electric Handpieces
Sound. Air-driven handpieces are noisier as they produce a high-pitched sound when in use. Electric handpieces are known to be quieter and are sometimes more preferred because of this trait.
Speed consistency. There are dentists who prefer using electric handpieces because its speed is more consistent compared to the air-driven type.
Price. Because an electric handpiece has its own system separate from the rest of the dental equipment, its price tag is considerably higher than its counterpart.