The automatic handpiece maintenance systems on the market today are built with the modern dental practice in mind. They’re fast and versatile, cleaning nearly any handpiece available.
1. Automation: A handpiece maintenance system helps eliminate human error by automating the process. Instruments are cleaned to meet the same high standard time after time. A manual approach to cleaning allows for residual debris in your handpieces, but a maintenance system ensures that all debris is reached and removed. This thorough cleaning not only reduces the risk of cross-contamination, but keeps your instruments up and running more smoothly than ever before and can help reduce costly repairs
2. Speed: Today’s systems eliminate time consuming maintenance by cleaning up to four instruments in less than two and a half minutes, at the push of a button. Because you interact with patients in back-to-back appointment slots, and you need clean instruments for each patient, timeliness is crucial. Even in times of high patient volume and stress, a handpiece maintenance system makes it quick and easy to get a sterilized set of instruments if no clean ones are handy
3. Patient Care: It is usually a challenge to spend adequate time with each patient you see. With an automatic system, instruments can be re-used rapidly in a maintained and cleaned state to improve time management in the practice. You no longer need to allow for 10 minutes after one appointment to make sure you have time to clean instruments for the next patient. This gives you extra time to discuss patients’ needs with them without rushing, reduces your own stress, and helps to ensure that communication is at its best within your practice.
Across the globe, dentists have found great value in electric handpieces. Only recently have dentists in North America discovered the benefits of electric handpieces. Here are a few of the top benefits of electric handpieces.
Using the latest versions of electric handpieces can allow you to be more precise with less noise and vibration, which benefits both you and your patients. With more comfort and less menacing sound, patients will experience a calmer, more relaxed visit to your office. Plus, less noise protects your hearing, too!
Speed and Torque
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits to electric handpieces is the speed and torque they offer. While the torque of air-driven handpieces advanced over time, electric handpieces offer constant torque with fully adjustable bur speed—which can be adjusted with programmable switch or the foot control. An electric handpiece is able to produce about three times the cutting power of an air-driven handpiece, simply meaning that it produces constant torque. This means that the bur will not slow down or stop, regardless of speed or material being cut.
With traditional handpieces, the older the bearings, the more a bur can wobble, causing chatter. But because electric handpieces rely on solid gear-to-gear contact and rigid bearing support, the bur does not wobble, therefore eliminating chatter. Without chatter, you can perform more finite cutting and operate with more precision and less effort.
This also means the bur is in contact with your patients’ teeth for less time, resulting in reduced sensitivity. This process, called “milling” instead of “chopping,” allows for more precise margins in less time, creating happy, thankful patients who spend less time in your chair.
There are two methods of cleaning dental handpieces. One is to use an automatic handpiece system, such as the QUATTROcare Plus, prior to sterilization. The other option is to manually maintain your handpieces. If you elect to manually maintain your handpieces, here are the steps to do so.
Step 1: Clean Handpiece
The first step in cleaning a dental handpiece is to lightly wash the handpiece under cool running water to remove excess debris.
Step 2: Handpiece Lubrication
Following external cleaning, connect the handpiece to the handpiece lubricant spray using the appropriate nozzle for the handpiece you are cleaning. For this air handpiece, we are using a multiflex nozzle. Spray for approximately 2 seconds. We recommend using a cloth or paper towel wrapped around the handpiece to contain the spray. It is ok if some excess lubrication remains in the handpiece.
Step 3: Purge Handpiece
After lubrication, you’ll want to purge your handpiece. Simply connect the handpiece to your multiflex connection, step on the foot petal and purge for 30-40 seconds. The handpiece is now ready for sterilization.
Properly functioning handpieces are crucial to maintaining a pleasant, efficient dental practice. Unfortunately, insufficient maintenance is a leading cause of the premature failure of these devices. Keep this list in mind each time you clean and lubricate your handpieces to ensure that they operate at top performance and last longer.
1. Remember to always follow the KaVo’s instructions regarding handpiece maintenance found in the manual. Paying attention to the manufacturer’s instructions could avoid serious damage to the handpiece, regardless of whether you are working with a high- or low-speed device.
2. Put down the pliers. Remember to use KaVo-approved tools on your handpiece, or send them in to the KaVo Repair Center for the highest quality repairs. Even if pliers seem like the obvious solution to a small problem, this could cause damage to the handpiece, or even void your warranty.
3. Don’t ignore the bur. Remember to remove the bur during handpiece maintenance, as this allows proper purging of lubricant and debris.
4. Keep wipe-downs simple. Remember to wipe your handpiece down with warm water, or warm water with a mild detergent, prior to lubrication and sterilization. Using strong chemicals to do this is unnecessary, and can lead to reduced handpiece life due to chemical interactions during sterilization. Do not submerge the handpiece in any liquid.
5. Double-check your connections. Make sure you are using the correct spray adapter for your handpiece connection types (MULTIflex, E-style, etc.). If you have a fixed back handpiece, make sure your spray goes in the drive-air port (the smaller of the two) to apply your lubricant, rather than any other opening in the handpiece. This opening is the only direct path to the turbine.
Remember, if you have any questions on handpiece maintenance, contact your KaVo Sales rep or call technical service at 1-888-ASK-KAVO, and follow option 2.
In this video, we’ll show you how to calibrate an ELECTROtorque Plus. We'll cover the differences between an older unit and a newer unit with SAFEdrive technology. We’ll also provide some basic tips for preventing error messages during the calibration process.
How do I calibrate an ELECTROtorque Plus without SafeDrive Technology?
To calibrate make sure you have the motor out of the holder and lay it on the table next to the control box. The button sequence is very important. To start off, push the up and down buttons together until you see the word “Do.” Now step on the foot control until you see the word “Up.” When you see the word up, you will push the up button. When it starts flashing, push and hold the reverse button until the motor turns on. Then, push the reverse button one more time to get it going back in the right direction.
How do I calibrate an ELECTROtorque Plus with SafeDrive Technology?
To calibrate make sure you have the motor out of the holder and lay it on the table next to the control box. The button sequence is very important. To start off, push the up and down buttons together until you see the word “E1.” Now step on the foot control. You’ll see the speed go back to 40,000 RPM.
What do I do if I see flashing 25 or flashing 21 error messages?
If you forget to take the motor out of the holder before calibration, you may see a flashing 25. This means you’re not getting enough air to the unit. If this happens, simply unplug the unit. Wait for the unit to power down. Plug it in and try again- this time with the motor next to the unit.
If you accidentally push a button out of sequence during calibration, you may see a flashing 21 letting you know to try again. If this happens, simply unplug the unit. Wait for the unit to power down. Plug it in and try again.
When do I need to calibrate my electric motors?
Due to the self-calibrating board on the newer style ELECTROtorque Plus, it’s not very often you’ll have to complete this procedure. If you do find yourself in this position, let’s say after you adjusted the air regulator, there may be a time when you need to recalibrate. For example, if you push on the foot control and the speed doesn’t get up to 40, you may need to recalibrate. Simply follow the procedure outlined above to recalibrate.
With so many products on the dental market today, professionals may find it difficult to choose the best dental handpiece for their practice. That’s why KaVo, the worldwide leader in electric motors and handpieces for over 20 years, has launched a new and improved TryKaVo.com website. This site offers free trials of KaVo’s products so dentists and hygienists can choose the best tools for their dental practice.
TryKaVo.com now features a fresh modern design that makes navigation easy. An innovative program, TryKaVo.com allows dental professionals to try KaVo’s award-winning air-driven handpieces and hygiene equipment absolutely free for up to five days, with no obligation to buy. In addition, the company pays for the shipping both ways, allowing for a hassle-free, risk-free trial on KaVo handpieces and equipment.
The site introduces KaVo’s Compare Your Handpiece feature, which gives professionals recommendations on which KaVo product to try first based on what dental handpieces they’re currently using. The TryKaVo.com program includes KaVo’s most popular electric and air-driven products, including its COMFORTdrive electric handpiece, GENTLEmini and GENTLEsilence air-driven handpieces and the DIAGNOdent. With so many products to choose from, the TryKaVo.com program gives dentists the power to choose. The result is the ability to experience KaVo quality and how these products will perform in a clinical setting.
The free five-day trial package for the GENTLEmini 4500BR—which features high torque for cutting efficiency, as well as an anti-retraction system that prevents debris from entering the handpiece head and turbine—includes the handpiece and two types of couplers. The COMFORTdrive package contains the controller plus one high-speed attachment and a COMFORTbase coupler.
Dental professionals can begin receiving free trial products almost immediately by signing up on the website. For more information on KaVo’s products available for free trial, and to use the site’s Compare Your Handpiece feature, visit TryKaVo.com.
In this video on 4 handed dentistry, Mark Tholen, DDS, MBA presents tips on how to minimize unneccessary movement within the operatory, how to properly position the patient, where to position the dental assistant, and ways of avoiding the Class IV and Class V movements that contribute to musculoskeletal disorders.
The KaVo booth at this year’s Chicago Dental Society’s Midwinter Meeting was so popular, there was a line forming! “The KaVo booth was incredibly popular on Friday,” says Bruce Hill, KaVo's Senior Territory Sales Manager. “It was one right after the other with people standing in line and waiting. We had a lot of doctors and a lot of the staff here coming to the booth to be actively finding out what’s new—what’s new at KaVo.”
What was so popular at KaVo this year? Electric handpieces! At the booth, dental professionals were able to try KaVo’s innovative electric handpieces, including high and low speed versions of the Master, Expert and Smart series.
KaVo representatives, including Bruce Hill, greeted Midwinter Meeting attendees as they explored the company’s handpiece offerings. KaVo representatives demonstrated the ease of use of the electric handpieces, dismissing the misconception that the handpieces are heavy and can’t be comfortably used by staff members with smaller hands.
And it wasn't just KaVo representatives standing by ready to share the benefits of electric handpieces. Satisfied KaVo owners were eager to share their stories as well, like Dr. Brent Engleberg of Brent A. Engleberg DDS, PC in Arlington Heights, Ill.
“I was always interested in electric handpieces from a control standpoint, from the ability to finish restorations, finish lines being real, real smooth,” says Dr. Engleberg. “I like the ability to have high torque but lower the speed and really control my preparations.”
He continues, “What excited me about KaVo was I tried a number of different brands of electric handpieces, and my KaVo representative was the first to come in and have the unit work correctly in my office, which is a good sign. But then just from a quality standpoint I could tell this was the brand I wanted to select.”
Bruce Hill says KaVo owners have been a great help in educating meeting attendees about KaVo’s products. “I’ve had several owners overhear me talking to an attendee and they’ll interrupt and say, ‘Oh you have to get it, it’s absolutely wonderful! I couldn’t do dentistry without it.’”
Speaking with Dr. Engleberg , that’s easy to believe. “You’re certainly missing out if you select another company, especially in the electric handpiece market. I’m very happy with my choice in selecting KaVo.”