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How to Sterilize Handpieces?

Nowadays, more and more doctors like to use handpieces with optical fibers. The price of such a handpiece is generally 20%-40% higher than that without fiber. The light intensity of this type of handpiece will decrease with the use of time. Some people have tested it and after using it for 1000 times, the light intensity is reduced by 50%. The reason for the weakening of the light intensity is that the sterilization process causes the binder resin of each fiber to become black; the individual optical fibers are broken; the lens are roughened by repeated use; the lens is covered by other substances. The lens is still relatively easy to solve and can be cleaned and polished (using a special polishing tool). However, the denaturation and fracture of the optical fiber is difficult to recover.

Measures to extend the life of your handpiece:

Before use: Make sure that the compressed air of the dental chair is water-free and oil-free; ensure that the water in the dental chair is free of impurities; ensure that the air pressure of the dental chair is below 40 psi unless the manufacturer has special regulations; ensure that the temperature of the handpiece has been restored to room temperature.

Use process: ensure air pressure is lower than 40psi; try not to use big bur and long bur; don’t use too big or too small bur; Do not use heavily worn burs; don’t use a high speed handpiece  when the mechanic is grinding (including clinical models and the modification of the restoration).

After use: Wash the handpiece with detergent before sterilization; do not exceed 135 °C sterilization temperature; do not leave the handpiece in the sterilizer overnight; if it is lubricated after sterilization, just add a few drops of lubricant.

Weekly maintenance: Use a handpiece cleaner to clean the mandrel of the push button handpiece.

Quarterly maintenance measure: Check the air dryer and water filter of the dental chair.

Bearing replacement: Clean the outer casing of the handpiece with ultrasonic cleaner before installing the bearing; rinse the outer casing of the handpiece after ultrasonic cleaning, clean the head of the handpiece; replace O-rings, springs, fixing clips and other components in time.

Handpiece sterilization steps:

Only the manufacturer’s sterilizable handpiece can be sterilized. The following steps are general steps and more importantly the handpieces should be maintained and sterilized in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications.

  1. After the treatment is finished, wipe off the debris outside the handpiece before the bur is removed, and start the machine to rinse the air pipe and water pipe of the handpiece.

2. Remove the burs and remove the handpiece. If the manufacturer recommends cleaning with a handpiece-specific cleaning and disinfecting device, clean the handpiece head and the entire handpiece according to the manufacturer’s instructions, then put the handpiece on the dental chair, start the machine, and clean the debris in the handpiece .

  1. If the handpiece needs to be lubricated before heating, use the cleaner recommended by the manufacturer to remove debris from the inside of the handpiece and lubricate the handpiece. If lubrication is not required before heating, use a lubricant-free cleaner and clean the phone according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Do not over-lubricate.

4. Put the handpiece on the dental chair, start the machine, and remove the excess lubricant from the handpiece to prevent excessive accumulation of lubricant in the handpiece during the heating process. If the manufacturer does not specify otherwise, the handpiece should be loaded with a bur.

  1. Wipe the fiber optic interface and its exterior with a damp alcohol cotton ball (do not have too much alcohol). Do not use high concentrations of solution to avoid damage.

6. After cleaning and drying the handpiece, put it in a paper bag and sterilize the handpiece according to the manufacturer’s instructions and the operating routine of the sterilizer. Keep the handpiece in a proper place after sterilization. Do not open the closed paper bag before use.

  1. Start the machine for 20 to 30 seconds before installing the handpiece, and rinse the gas pipe of the dental chair.
  2. If the handpiece does not need to be sterilized and lubricated, open the paper bag in front of the patient to show that the handpiece has undergone strict sterilization. If lubrication is required after sterilization, be sure to open the paper bag at the end of the handpiece before use. Do not add excessive lubricant.
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