The top 5 challenges owner dentists face when it comes to identifying suitable handpieces

admin 24 Dec 2019
  1. Consider the available budget

    Restricted budgets can often come in the way of obtaining equipment that can allow your dental practice to stay competitive. The first step when considering any purchase, however, is determining how much you can afford to spend. Handpiece prices can range from £195 for a high-speed turbine to £1,000 for a speed-increasing contra-angle handpiece.

    Budget can be a big part of the purchase decision, but it shouldn’t be the deciding factor. It’s important to think about the lifetime value of the handpiece rather than just the initial investment. Electric handpieces tend to be more expensive (initially and with repairs), yet more efficient than air-driven handpieces. Although the initial price and ongoing maintenance costs are usually lower with air-driven dental drills, the noise and level of vibration tend to be much greater compared to modern electric handpieces. Despite size and price, electric handpieces have grown in popularity in recent years due to their ability to maintain a constant speed regardless of the load. Together with less vibration, this results in more precision and increased efficiency.

    Beware of the pitfalls associated with low-priced handpieces. When considering your handpiece purchase ask yourself the following:

    • Is the CE mark genuine?
    • Is the brand recognised?
    • Is the company promoting the product reputable?
    • Are the handpieces traceable?
    • Where will the liability lie if there is a product fault resulting in patient injury?
    • What warranty will I get with this product?

    Not all cheap handpieces are necessarily ‘dubious’ products but these are all questions to consider before committing to purchase. Remember, you can always check with MHRA if you have any concerns as to the authenticity/ safety of the product.

    At the same time, excessive overheads can be a big issue for practices. Therefore, it’s important to resist the temptation to buy the latest tech and new equipment, unless you know it's going to improve your service, let you provide a better experience for your patients and enable you to do your job in a much more efficient manner.

    Renting your handpieces is an excellent way of staying with cutting edge technology without an initial large capital outlay. Most handpiece rental companies will include all servicing and repairs in the rental costs but check on any collection/ delivery charges or available loan equipment during service.

  2. Identify handpieces that are comfortable to use

    Another challenge that owner dentists face is comfortable to use. You need to make sure that your new dental handpiece has a design that makes it easy to use and comfortable for the patient.

    One of the big advantages of an air-driven handpiece is its weight. Compared to electric systems, it tends to be smaller, lighter and easier to handle, which can help to minimise fatigue throughout the day.

    If you chose a speed increasing electric motor driven handpiece it’s worth remembering you will have the weight of the motor to balance in your wrist. Some of the new brushless type electric micro-motors are smaller and lighter weight offering greater comfort to the user.

    Grip and finish of the handpiece are also important things to consider. You need to find the right balance where the handpiece's grip is rough enough so you can hold it with a gloved hand, but smooth enough to make it easier to clean.

  3. Consider the noise output of the handpiece

    There have been many studies looking to answer concerns raised about whether dental practitioners are prone to hearing loss due to noise exposure encountered in dental practices.

    One of the considerations you should make when purchasing dental handpieces is the noise output of the instrument. Air-driven turbines typically have a noise output that ranges from 70Db to 80 Db with some newer models from leading brands getting this noise level down to nearer 50Db.

    Most speed increasing contra-angle handpieces have a noise output of 55Db to 60Db but will produce a constant noise due to the consistency of the electric motor drive. What’s more, extremely noisy dental instruments seem to decrease comfort and increase anxiety among patients, so make sure you always choose handpieces that produce less noise.

    Whichever you choose, the noise will always increase as the parts wear and will be a sure indication of service due!

  4. Ensure you buy reliable handpieces with a quick delivery to avoid any downtime

    Cutting-edge dental equipment is at the heart of every modern dental practice. With the dental handpiece being the most used piece of equipment, its’ critical that dentists have reliable handpieces running at optimal performance. A handpiece that isn’t working properly can cause delays and impact your practice’s efficiency.

    Make sure you always buy products made by established dental manufacturers and distributed through a reputable supplier. A specialist independent handpiece distributer will give you good advice, carry a vast range and may be able to loan a handpiece whilst your equipment is being serviced or on order.

  5. Ensuring that you buy a handpiece that is worth the investment

    Make sure that the supplier you choose for your dental handpieces offers industry-leading warranty and aftercare to give you peace of mind.

    Warranties can be an important insurance policy against unexpected repair costs. When looking at a new handpiece, consider the length of the warranty included. The most common warranty period is a year to 18 months for handpieces.

    Some manufacturers are offering longer warranties of up to 3 or even 5 years but remember, you will probably be paying for the repairs up front and always check the small print.

    Even the most high-quality, robust handpieces are liable to breakdown, so finding a manufacturer that also offers a first-class repair service and technical support is crucial. Waiting until after you’ve purchased your handpiece to find out what level of assistance is available could result in costly repairs, inconvenience and unwanted downtime.

    Choose the Independent Handpiece Experts

    At Trigiene, we’ll ensure that the handpiece you choose is not only the best fit for your practice, but it’s also the most cost-effective solution for your needs. We offer competitive prices on all our handpieces and also provide the fastest online repair collection service in the UK. Call us today on 01642 442910 to get the best prices on world-leading dental handpiece brands.

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