FAQ’s about Dental Handpieces

High-speed handpieces are becoming a crucial part of dentistry. Here are some commonly asked questions about this tool to better understand it before adding one to your practice.

What Are High-Speed Handpieces?

These handpieces, such as the ones made by Alpha Lite, are handheld drills powered by air that spins burs for cutting material. They are typically used for the removal of unnecessary tooth structure, margin creation, and cavity preparation.

How Do They Work?

You will operate your tool by pressing a foot pedal that lets the air move from the chair unit, through a line, and into the handpiece. The air supply flows through the unit’s base, into the head, and out of an exhaust port. The airflow turns a turbine located in the head of the handpiece. This causes the cutting bur to rotate.

How Fast Does It Run?

How fast dental handpieces run depends on the air supply’s psi, the components’ configuration, and the turbine assembly’s size. Average-sized handpieces with standard configurations and air supply psi can spin up to 400,000 RPMs. Larger tools will spin slower and smaller ones will operate at higher speeds.

Is Head Size Important?

Most brands offer small and large head sizes, and each one offers unique benefits. Smaller heads offer better visibility and access when working in a patient’s mouth. Larger heads offer more power and torque for tough applications.

How Long Will It Last?

Typically, the turbines inside your handpiece will last up to a year, depending on how often it is used and maintained. It can fail as quickly as six months after purchase if it is not properly maintained and experiences heavy use.

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The use of high-speed handpieces is becoming more crucial for various jobs in dentistry. Learning more about this tool will help you familiarize yourself with it before purchasing one.