Posted on June 21, 2019 by The Handpiece Post
When a Dental Instrument is not sharpened properly it can cause the hygienist to use too much pressure. This can lead to discomfort for the hygienist and the patient. There is also the danger of the instrument slipping. If your instruments are worn too thin, breakage of the instrument may be the result.
I often see instruments in my office for sharpening and the instruments have been improperly sharpened. On a curette for example the toe may be worn to a point. When this is the case the instrument should no longer be sharpened.
The only option for this instrument is re-tipping. Most instrument sharpening specialists will recommend the unit be re-tipped when 20 percent of the instrument is worn down. We believe that at 40 percent the instrument no longer functions to proper clinical effect. The largest danger is that the instrument will break.
There are some manufacturers arguing against re-tipping instruments saying that the quality of tips being used are inferior to the original. They also argue that the handles can crack.
I would counter these arguments with the fact that we use the same tips that the manufacturer uses. These replacement tips must fit perfectly or the unit must be replaced. Your service company should always use the same size stainless steel or titanium tips that came with the unit. Have your servicer verify this.
As far as the handles cracking, yes they sometimes do but the instrument is useless anyway. Therefore the unit must be replaced. If you have a unit returned to you with a crack of any size in the handle, do not use it and contact your servicer.
So how do we keep re-tipping and sharpening costs to a minimum? First inspect and clean each end and don’t forget the handle. Make sure all debris are removed. The organic matter contains pathogens that will corrode the instrument. I get so many instruments that are new and just being sharpened for the first time and they have to be re-tipped because of corrosion.
Cleaning by hand can be dangerous, so it is best to use an ultrasonic machine. Some times you may not be able to use the ultrasonic immediately after use. When this happens I would recommend setting up a pre-soak until you can clean them properly. This will prevent drying and corrosion and supplement the cleaning process. I recommend the use of an enzymatic low suds solution for pre-soak and ultrasonic cleaning.
For those that sharpen your own instruments, here are some tips to help you save money. Look at the blade under light, if it reflects light it needs to be sharpened. While there are no set rules on how often you should sharpen this is what I have found to be true. Sharpen your instruments after each use or at least the very first sign of going dull. If you do this you will take off less metal and the instruments will last longer. Next most people who use a stone may put on a different edge each time. It can be difficult to get the perfect edge consistently. I recommend sending your instruments to a professional sharpener every two or three months depending on how much you use them. Your sharpener has equipment that can put the exact angle on the instrument and re-tip as needed.
I know your time is valuable, if you sharpen this way it only takes seconds to hone the edge and only minuets to keep them all sharp. While sending them to a professional sharpener will guarantee a proper edge and that the tips are not over sharpened.
For more information visit us at www.bauerdentalhandpiecerepair.com or call Howard at 317-652-8584
There are large and distinct differences in the bearings that are used in dental hand piece repair. The bearing used can have a large impact on the drill's performance and your budget.
There are two types of bearing other than physical size and exterior design. What I mean by exterior design is flanged or smooth bearing exterior.
For the purpose of this discussion we will examine the difference between the radial and angular bearing. This is the bearing retainer inside the bearing housing.
The angular bearing is fully contained, meaning the bearing rides inside the retainer. One advantage is the bearing can be pressed on either side of the bearing. The other is the retainer holds the bearing all the way around controlling where it rides with no play. This allows for better control of the forces inside the bearing such as centrifugal force and heat. The angular bearing is superior and worth the extra cost.
The largest single way to gain the longest time between repairs is to keep your drills maintained as per manufactures recommendations. Read the Hand Piece Post for maintenance instructions also.
The Radial bearing rides inside a crown shaped retainer and allows for up and down movement of the bearing inside the casing. This type of bearing is not suitable for high speeds and allows for vibration of the drill. Also the crown retainer can break allowing the bearings to touch. This is what causes the squealing in a defective drill.
Beware the low cost servicers. They save cost by using parts out of China, Pakistan, ect. These turbines can be purchased very cheap and will not last 30-60 days.
At Bauer we use American made Myonic bearings providing a superior repair. If you properly maintain your drills, these bearings can last a year and longer.
Call Howard today 317-652-8584
to discuss your options.
Ultrasonic cleaning is the most effective way to clean your surgical instruments, particularly instruments with hinges, box locks and other moving parts. All instruments must be pre washed prior to being fully submerged in an open position using distilled (demineralized) water and an ultrasonic cleaning solution. Always rinse ultrasonic cleaning solution from instruments with distilled water prior to sterilization.
An additional way to clean besides ultrasonic would be to manually clean the instruments with Nylon or stainless steel brushes using a mild or low PH surgical detergent. We recommend strongly to not use the following steel wool, steel brushes or scowering pads as these may damage the instrument finish. make sure to always rinse any cleaning solution from the instruments with distilled water prior to sterilization.
The common caused for staining and our suggestions on how to avoid staining of the instruments are as follows: Staining is a surface deposit on instruments, and most often mistaken for rust. After autoclaving, you may notice a stain on your instruments. Rusting instruments are very rare. Stains on instruments appear in many colors and, in most cases, the colors tell you about the origin of the stain.
Orange/brown stain: The problem is most often a phosphate layer (brown to light orange) on the instrument, which develops as a result of any of the following causes: water sources, detergents used to wash and clean instruments, surgical wrappings, cold sterilization solutions, or dried blood.
Black stain: Black stains are commonly due to an acid reaction. Black stains may result from detergents used to clean the instrument; similar to brown stains caused by high PH in detergents. The black acid type stain can be caused by low PH (less than six) during autoclaving.
Dark brown stain: Dark brown stains are usually a result of dried blood left on an instrument. Blood should be removed from the surface of the instrument immediately. It will break down the instruments surface with a chemical reaction.
dental instrument cleaning, ultrasonic instrument cleaning, best dental instrument cleaning
The largest reason for dental instrument re-tipping that I see in my service company is that the practice waits way too long to sharpen. Waiting longer to sharpen will not save you money. What it will do is cause discomfort to the patient and the hygienist.
The patient may have more bruising of the gum and the hygienist may have cramping in the hand. This is because the hygienist is pressing harder to detect calculus. Also moving the instrument a few degrees trying to detect calculus. This will round the edge, further deteriorating the instrument.
What I see is a dull instrument that I have to take off more metal than normal to gain sharpness When the instrument is dull, the blade surface will become rounded. This area has to come off to regain sharpness.
Sharpen your instruments on a regular basis will keep your instruments in top condition. They will also last longer. Another reason for dental instrument re-tipping is corrosion on the blade of the instruments. This corrosion is totally preventable by washing the instruments after each use.
The corrosion is caused by blood pathogens in the saliva. If these pathogens are not washed off thoroughly, it will cause corrosion on the instrument. This corrosion will destroy your mirrors and require new mirror ends be installed. Scalars and other instruments can corrode on the sharp edge of the instrument causing the need for re-tipping.
This can be quite annoying when your instruments are new or newly sharpened and already need to be re-tipped. Should I mention the cost, it can add up fast.
Improper cleaning and then using the autoclave will only make the corrosion worse.
Take the time to wash each instrument completely. Use a stiff brush and an antibacterial wash. When all saliva and blood are removed, then autoclave. Cover proper procedures with your staff to make sure everyone is on the same page. Dry completely to prevent rust.
You may be interested to know that most of my re-tipping work is from improperly cared for instruments and not instruments that have been worn out. Dental instruments are made of high grade stainless steel and will last a long time with proper care.
You may be curious about what I can do for your instruments if they are corroded. First, if the corrosion is not too deep I may be able to polish it out of the instrument. There are a number of tools to do this depending on the angle and type of instrument. If the damage is on the cutting edge it really depends on how deep the corrosion is whether I can save the end or not.
Second if the corrosion is in the cutting edge, then I may have to grind it off to save the instrument. You should note that some corrosion can be taken out, but the instrument is permanently pitted. Whether the instrument is re-tipped at this point depends on the doctor or hygienist. In most cased if the instrument is usable the doctor or hygienist will not opt for re-tipping. However even if I am able to save the instrument today and avoid the cost of re-tipping you have still lost some valuable life for your instrument and that only translates in money lost for your practice.
Repairing Your Dental Handpiece Posted on 04/16/2019 by The Handpiece Post
The best way is to start with a good visual inspection looking for obvious damage that might warrant repair. If all is OK there, then a burr is placed in the chuck and removed several times. This will let the technician know if the chuck in engaging. A pull tester should then used to check the tightness of the chuck. If the chuck fails this test, then the turbine must be changed. The complete turbine must be changed when failing this test to protect you and the patient from the burr disengaging.
The bearings would also have to be changed in this case because even if the bearings are still good, they cannot be pulled and used again. If the unit passes the pull test, the unit is hooked up to an air station. Running the unit at 32 PSI, and listening carefully it can be determined if the bearings are defective. This is also a good time to test the water jets.
If the bearings must be replaced, then the back cap is removed using a back cap tool. This will expose the turbine and it can be removed at this time. Once the turbine is removed the “O” rings must also be removed.
At this time the inside of the drill head and the back cap will be cleaned completely. All debris and particulate must be removed. It can also be determined how well your handpiece is maintained based on the condition inside the head of the handpiece. Once cleaned all of the “O” rings, spring washers and clips will be replaced with new ones. If there was a water problem some models can be disassembled from the front using a special tool, and the seals replaced. Also the jets can be cleaned at this time. Some models cannot be disassembled here.
Now the turbine can be rebuilt. The bearings must be pressed off the turbine using an arbor press. Once completed the impeller and chuck will be cleaned. Using the proper ceramic bearings, they will be pressed into proper position using the correct press pin.
Now the turbine is complete and can be installed back into the handpiece. Place the rear bearing into the back cap and holding the back cap place the turbine into the head and screw the back cap into place. Insert a burr and move it around a bit to position the turbine. Hook up and test. If performed properly the dental handpiece repair will be completed.
There are other problems that can occur with the dental handpiece such as fiber optics and water lines. However the repair described above is the typical repair we see with the highspeed dental handpiece.
Here at Bauer Dental we no longer rebuild the turbine. It is perfectly acceptable in the industry to perform this procedure however we have chosen to only replace the complete turbine. In our experience too often the chuck may fail wasting the repair and causing inconvenience to the doctor and staff.
What we do is use the high quality Myonic bearings by the New Hampshire bearing company. They manufacturer bearings for many brands so we can be confident of the quality. These bearings are ceramic, and they come already lubed. We use one of two very high end chucks to guarantee quality.
Our turbines should last like a new handpiece would. The only exception we have found is failure due to improper maintenance.