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Sterilization and Maintenance of Dental Handpieces

Your dental handpiece is one of your most important tools - but only if you take good care of it! 

Neglecting proper handpiece hygiene and maintenance can lead to poor performance, costly repairs, and safety issues. In this blog, we provide clear tips for keeping your handpieces in tip-top shape.


First things first: cleaning. 

Thoroughly scrub away any visible dirt, debris, or residue on the handpiece head after each use. A soft brush is ideal for cleaning around the spindle and in crevices. Take care not to allow any moisture near the handpiece head - we don't want things getting damp in there! 

Next, lubrication is key for reducing friction and preventing corrosion inside the handpiece. 

Use a silicone-based spray made specifically for handpiece lubrication. Avoid other lubricants like WD-40 that can actually damage internal parts. A quick spray into the drive air or spindle opening ensures everything stays smooth as butter.

Here comes the most important part: sterilization.

Improper sterilization breeds bacteria and puts patients at risk. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for autoclave or chemiclave sterilization. For quick disinfection between patients, use an EPA-approved intermediate-level disinfectant spray.

Don't forget to routinely maintain belts, cords, and tubing for optimum efficiency. Check for leaks, blockages, loose fittings, or damage. Call in a dental repair tech annually for a full inspection and tune-up.


By diligently sticking to a daily cleaning routine and proper sterilization protocols, your handpieces will have a long, healthy life. 

Implementing good handpiece hygiene practices keeps your equipment running like new and your patients safe - now that's something worth smiling about!