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4 Facts about Surgical Handpieces

Surgical handpieces are important dentistry tools. They’re used for everything from simple tooth cleaning and polishing to filling cavities to performing surgical procedures such as tooth extractions. Here are four facts about surgical handpieces.

1. Cleaning and Repair

Surgical handpiece repair and cleaning are very precise operations but can be done relatively easily with proper care and handling. You should always consult the FDA regulations and the manufacturers’ usage instructions so you can clean or repair your surgical handpiece appropriately. Most cordless and detached surgical handpieces can be heat sterilized while those attached to air and water lines also require manual cleaning and sterilization between patients.

2. Installation

The installation method you require will depend on the type of surgical handpiece you’ve gotten. Some handpieces need to be attached to your air and water lines to work correctly while others are handheld or cordless and may be used without being attached to those lines. An attached handpiece will need to be installed once and, while you’ll need to know how to detach it for cleaning or repair. An entirely mobile surgical handpiece may only need to be attached to a port for charging. If you use a detachable handpiece, then you’ll need to make sure you understand how to attach, detach and reattach the device to its port.

3. FDA Clearance and Valid Usage Instructions

You should only be using surgical handpieces that have both FDA clearance and valid usage instructions from the manufacturer included. You can visit the FDA’s device database to check the clearance designation of your specific device. To check the validity of the usage instructions, you should first contact the manufacturer and ask for FDA clearance documentation. If you can’t gather that information from the manufacturer, you should contact the FDA’s Office of Compliance directly for assistance.

4. Types

The most well-known type of surgical handpiece is a dental drill but dentists utilize a variety of tools to clean and treat people’s teeth. Dentists will often use mirrors, light sources, picks, cooling water-spray systems and electric toothbrushes. You should make sure you have a full set of surgical handpieces so you can meet all your patients’ potential needs.

The bottom line is you need to take great care when using, cleaning and repairing your surgical handpieces. These tools are used on multiple patients many times every day and they can be quite expensive, so you need to make sure they’re always safe to use on patients and will last a very long time.

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