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The Sterilization of Handpieces

The American Dental Association (ADA), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the FDA all believe that autoclaving is the best means of sterilization for dental handpieces. The high temperature and high pressure sterilization furnaces currently available on the market can be used for handpiece sterilization. The sterilization furnace has a set sterilization procedure, and the whole process of heating, pressurizing, maintaining, cooling, depressurizing and drying is completed in one hour. Unless urgently used, the handpiece should be packaged or placed in a suitable container for sterilization. Cell phone sterilization is not suitable for soaking, excessive temperatures and excessively long periods of time. When the handpiece is still in a high temperature state, do not deliberately lower the temperature in a short period of time (such as washing with a disinfectant), which will damage the fine parts inside the handpiece.

In order to ensure the sterilization effect of the handpiece, the high temperature autoclave should always maintain a good working condition. In addition to checking whether the closure is tight and the color of the indicator strip on the packaging pocket changes each time, a biological test should be performed once a week.

The closer the handpiece is to the heat source, the more susceptible the internal components are to damage. The heat source of the high temperature and high pressure sterilizer is at the bottom, so the sterilized paper bag with the handpiece should be on the top layer of the sterilizer, as far as possible from the heat source, not on the bottom layer.

Most sterilizers have a high temperature drying procedure after the sterilization process is completed. This is an important part of preventing the rust of the handpiece. If this program fails, it should be repaired in time.

In order to ensure the normal operation of the handpiece, you should also choose the appropriate bur. Large burs and long burs should be used as little as possible, they will greatly increase the load of the bearing ball; if the needle is too small, it will slip, but if the bur is too big, it will got stuck in the fixing groove; the serious wear of the needle will increase the bearing load.

If the air pressure of the handpiece  is too high or too low, it will affect the normal operation of the handpiece and cause damage to the handpiece. Different handpieces have different optimal working pressures, so the air pressure should be adjusted according to the manufacturer’s regulations before starting work every day. When the gas reaches the handpiece from the barometer, the air pressure generally drops by 1.0 psi, which should be added to the calculation. In addition, you should always pay attention to the noise generated when the handpiece works, and adjust the air pressure in time when abnormalities are found.

The handpiece bearings are made up of many components, and the bearing balls and O-rings are the most vulnerable parts. The high temperature generated during the sterilization process will increase the extent of ball damage. Timely replacement of bearing balls and O-rings saves more time and money.

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