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Handpieces – Know what you are buying.

Specialist manufacturers such as W&H invest in research and development to ensure they continue to bring you innovation and design, supplying high quality handpieces for professionals to use.   So, why is it so important to choose your handpieces wisely?  Although cheaper copies can be purchased online, quality is likely to be an issue and it is really not worth staking a professional reputation on a lower cost and reduced quality product.  Make sure you know exactly what you are buying and from whom.

You get the handpiece you pay for.  Handpieces are not always what they were or what they are promoted to be.  With cheap copies available on the internet and some suppliers looking to reduce costs both in the UK and elsewhere, you may not be getting appropriate quality and service.  Handpieces sold on the internet may well not hold an official CE mark even if they show the marking on the product and therefore have not been tested fit for use.  Purchasing a cheaper option is in many cases not a safer one. 

W&H offer their customers sound advice assisting them in making the right choice.  They supply high quality products and backup, with UK based support services, helping customers build an efficient and profitable business. 

The dental profession should be looking to gain the best possible value from the new handpiece innovations which improve their working environment especially as they are a long-term investment with high user interaction.  Handpiece selection is critical as it needs to suit the user, so pay particular attention to some fundamentals when selecting handpieces.  It is important that dental professionals look to offer patients quality care, which comes from using high quality, reliable products, while remembering that one spends many hours per day holding a handpiece so make sure that it is comfortable to use.  So what is important when selecting a handpiece?  Making your choice based on the influence it will have on patients, user and team.  A smaller handpiece head for easier access, reduced levels of noise and vibration all result in greater comfort for both practitioner and patient.  Ergonomics is important in reducing the risk of repetitive strain injury and cumulative trauma disorders.  Look for a handpiece design which is comfortable and easy to hold without stress to the hand or fingers such as the W&H Synea Fusion range.  Handpiece lumination has improved beyond recognition with the advent of LED.  The colour rendering index (CRI) is an important aspect of artificial illumination with a perfect colour rendition having an index value of 100.  Therefore, look for a handpiece that offers a CRI of over 90, such as those from W&H which will give you the rich colour contrasts you need for a life like view.  Choose carefully to ensure you get enhanced visibility and reduction of eye stress.  Select LED which offers daylight grade lumination as it is kinder on your eyes, gives improved visibility, better colour definition and reduced heat such as the W&H LED+ handpieces. 

Only purchase handpieces that adhere to current regulations for health and safety and those that are both thermo-washer disinfectable and sterilizable.  

Good quality handpieces made by good quality manufacturers are easy to recognise and should be supplied with at least a one-year warranty as standard.  It has been proven over many years of research that the higher the quality of the handpiece, the superior the performance over longer periods of time.  It is therefore worth investing wisely and looking after your investment.  If the handpiece or manufacturer chosen does not meet the above criteria, then it is not likely to offer long-term value for money.  To prolong the useful life of your handpieces and to protect both the patient and the team from the risk of cross contamination, it is important that the dental team follow a strict infection control regime.  When selecting handpieces, it is worth identifying whether the manufacturer can meet all your needs, including offering a full range of products, local service support, care and maintenance training and the appropriate solutions for decontamination.  You should be given guidance on the products available to assist you in looking after your handpieces, automatic handpiece care systems such as the Assistina Twin provide thorough, fast and effective cleaning and consistent automatic lubrication of all internal components. 

Remember, you get what you pay for so it is always worthwhile making a sound investment and purchasing a well-established, well supported brand known for quality and reliability.

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