What Are the Different Types of Dental Handpiece

Dental handpiece is a small sized high-speed drilling tool used in dentistry, mainly for procedures which require shaping of the tooth for crown insertion or filling, removal of tooth decay, smoothening or tooth polishing etc. These machines are powered by either air turbines or electric motors. A very important tool for a dentist, selection criteria for the most suitable one should be based on speed, measured by rotations per minute (rpm) and accuracy. Traditional air turbine handpieces are easy to use as they are sleek and lightweight tools, however, they create a lot of noise with continued use and deterioration of the bearings. Electric handpieces, on the other hand, have gears that have greater durability and are way quieter as no air is required to power them. These tools can be used for a wide range of procedures due to their adjustable speed.

Air Driven High-Speed Handpiece

Dental handpiece in this category may be found with a variety of designs, shapes, bodybuilding material etc., however, they all run at a fixed rpm which usually range from 250,000 to 400,000. They can be further categorized on the basis of the type of attachment they carry, the size of the head, size and weight, source of light, and the level of sound they produce. Since they operate on bearings which are more prone to wear and tear with prolonged use, the quality of bearing becomes an important factor here. Air turbine handpieces are available at various price ranges.They also come with high-end features such as bearings made of ceramic, fiber optic light source, titanium as bodybuilding material etc.

Air Driven Low-Speed Handpiece

As the name suggests, these dental handpieces have a fixed lower rpm range, from usually 100 to 140000. The products offered by manufacturers may vary by features such as size and weight of the tool, nozzle type like water or air, bodybuilding material, burr attachments etc. Though the selection depends greatly on individual requirements, one important selection criteria must be the construction material as it ensures the durability of the tool in the long run. Oil lubrication free tools are also available, but they may be noisy. Another interesting feature offered by some manufacturers is the provision of a light source for better visibility inside the mouth cavity. Another striking feature is the higher torque in combination with low speed to ensure the desired flexible speed.

Electric Handpiece

 A perfect combination of power and accuracy, this dental handpiece is a favorite tool in professional dentistry. This machine is driven by an electric motor rather than an air turbine and hence provides the advantages of lower noise production and a flexible speed due to better consistency in torque. The precision of torque helps in attaining a controlled speed and consistent and smoother job while doing cuts.

Air Driven Surgical Handpiece

Dental procedures, especially surgeries in the mouth call for the best precautions so that the highest level of patient safety can be ensured. A striking feature of this dental handpiece is the smart design that stops the air from blowing into the mouth cavity and avoids complications during surgery. They are designed in such a way that the air is exhausted back into another unit away from the procedure site.

Electric Surgical Handpiece

The electric surgical dental handpiece is driven by an electric motor with rpm as high as 200000 which makes it a very popular choice for dental practitioners. Apart from the durability which is delivered because there is very little vibration, these machines also come with features such as in-built water sprinkling system and a provision for specific program settings.