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Article: Volume 41 Number 10 Page 900 - December 2014

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  Dent Update 2014; 41: 900-906

General Dentistry:  Dental Handpieces – An Update

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Abstract: The dental handpiece is a frequently used instrument in the clinician’s armamentarium. Dental handpieces were first introduced in the nineteenth century as primitive hand-operated devices. Advances in technology have enabled modern handpieces to evolve into sophisticated, engineered precision instruments. The most common handpieces are operated by compressed air or by electric motors. The current market offers a variety of handpieces to suit specific clinical needs. Care and maintenance of all dental handpieces is essential to ensure maximum efficiency and longevity. This paper offers a brief insight into the history of dental handpieces and illustrates what the current market has to offer, with recommendations on care and maintenance to avoid the common problems encountered by clinicians.

Clinical relevance: Selection, knowledge and maintenance of the dental handpiece are key for effective clinical practice.

Author notes: Nazma Akuji, BDS, Dental Foundation Trainee, North West Deanery, Shilpa Shah, BDS(Bham), MJDJ, Specialty Dentist in Restorative Dentistry, Manchester Dental Hospital, Martin Ashley, BDS(Hons), FDS RCS(Eng) FDS(Rest Dent), RCS MPhil, Consultant and Honorary Senior Lecturer in Restorative Dentistry, Manchester Dental Hospital, Higher Cambridge Street, Manchester, UK.

Objective: To explore the cutting-edge features of modern handpiece technology and the importance of appropriate maintenance.