Low Speed Handpieces: Modern Improvements to Consider.
As a trained, educated professional, you are well aware of the importance of using the proper tools for your work. Much like other professions, in dentistry, you will enjoy more success with the best fitted and made instruments. This is especially true of your low speed handpieces. One thing they don’t teach you in dentistry school is how to choose the best tools for your individual needs. Naturally, you were taught about how to use items like probes and handheld mirrors, as well as high and low speed handpieces, but ensuring that they are the proper fit for you likely wasn’t covered. When you are in the market for a new low speed handpiece, there are some key elements to be sure you don’t forget. After you take a look at these handy tips, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding the right low speed handpiece for you.
It’s essential before you do anything else that you look at the weight of the prospective low speed handpiece. Unlike high speed handpieces that typically weigh about three ounces, low speed ones can tip the scales at double that amount. It doesn’t sound like a big deal until you experience hand fatigue and your work is compromised because of the weight of your instruments. As a matter of fact, some of the older low speed handpieces weighed up to half a pound. It’s a good thing that isn’t the case anymore. Some of the low speed handpieces that are made for dental hygienists’ work tend to weigh less and are comparable to high speed handpieces in this regard.
Another factor to consider when you are in the market for a low speed handpiece is the size of your hand. A female dentist with small, petite hands isn’t going to be comfortable using a larger, heavier low speed handpiece made with a male dentist in mind. The weight and size difference might not seem important until you realize that repetitive motions and balancing a heavy tool can create an environment in which nerve, muscle, and stress injuries can occur. Your hands are vitally important in your career. It makes sense to protect them as much as possible.
The angle of the handpiece head has particular bearing on the function and usability of the low speed handpiece. Unlike high speed handpieces that typically are contra angled, low speed handpieces typically work better with a straight head. If you have the need for more mobility, attachments are made to offer more diverse directional control. Many dental professionals are finding that the newer low speed handpiece designs that incorporate a wider diameter in the back of the instrument is creating a more comfortable, looser fitting grip as well. Along with the wider design and optional contra angled heads, textured or traction grips are also available to help prevent hand and nerve strain.
Along with the general maintenance that goes with keeping your dental supplies, including your low speed handpiece clean and operational, you will want to keep an eye on the state of the handpiece hoses. Be sure to replace them at the first sign of rigidity and you should be enjoying the best performance your low speed handpiece can offer.