Operative

For patient treatment, handpieces can be primarily divided into two categories: highspeed and slowspeed, with the latter being the focus of this category.

Slowspeed handpieces are called upon to perform a much more varied set of functions, ranging from excavating carious tooth structure to polishing restorative materials and teeth to automated endodontics. This makes selecting a slowspeed handpiece more involved than a highspeed version.

Various Items to Consider When Purchasing a Handpiece for Restorative Tasks

Light While a few, high-end slowspeeds have lights, most of the basic units do not. If you require a light, then your selection will definitely be limited.

Water Spray As per our comments about lights, most slowspeeds do not have water spray, although when it comes to polishing, this would be a handy option.

Push-Button Chuck Pushing a button on the back of the head of the handpiece is the easiest way to insert and remove a bur. While more slowspeeds have adopted this bur retention mechanism, some of the basic models do not.

Noise Slowspeeds do not have the typical high shrill whirl of highspeeds, but quieter is still better. To measure the noise generated by these products, we placed a #4 bur in all handpieces. We then activated the handpiece and placed it as close to the audible sensor as we could without actually touching the sensor. However, the noise you and your patients are subjected to will typically be lower, since the handpiece would never be directly over your or the ear of the patient.

Weight Usually, lighter is better. We weighed all the handpieces with the couplers or motors to get a real world value.

Size of the Handpiece The length was measured from the coupler/tubing connection, while the diameter was measured at the widest section. Slimmer, shorter handpieces would be more likely to be comfortable for operators with small hands.

Size of the Head Smaller heads can obviously access more areas in mouths of patients with restricted opening. We measured the length of all heads with a #4 bur in place.

Maintenance Slowspeeds can require separate and sometimes more labor-intensive steps compared to highspeeds. And, if you have different models, the maintenance requirements can vary substantially. Choosing a handpiece with less maintenance steps would be a prudent move.

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EX Series (High)
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TitanT
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Intraflex
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K1
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MM Rhino
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MM Shorty
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