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.
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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.