Electric dental handpiece safety tip

Nov. 1, 2010
The FDA recently issued an alert to dentists for the second time on Sept. 23, 2010, warning them about the danger of severe patient injury occurring from electric handpieces overheating. Glenn Williams, owner of the family owned and operated Handpiece Express, offers an electric dental handpiece safety tip to help prevent patient injuries.

Last week I blogged about the recent FDA warning (9/23/10) regarding electric dental handpieces overheating. This week I burned my fingers while troubleshooting an electric 1:5 attachment to generate an estimate. It happened so fast, I did it again just to be sure — hey, I’m a handpiece guy, not a rocket scientist! What strikes me is how rapidly a defective electric handpiece will heat up to a "superhot" condition. The pain from my fingers traveled to my brain and sparked an idea! Every time I worked on an electric handpiece this week I felt the head immediately after operating the handpiece. In every case extreme heat was generated in less than 15 seconds. Remember, all the handpieces we receive are already malfunctioning, or they would not have been sent in for repair. But this got me thinking ... If every dentist took the following precaution BEFORE each procedure, I bet we could help prevent patient injury.

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