Manual Handpiece Oiling v Automatic Oiling & Maintenance Units
Consistent oiling and maintenance is the life blood of your handpieces. With the rapid change in many practice procedures as a result of Covid19, particularly infection control protocol, nothing will be the same again. One thing that can’t change is the need for consistent oiling and lubricating of your handpieces! Unfortunately, for the past year, with the additional workload of increased infection control procedures, practice staff are finding themselves in different roles and handpiece care could have taken a back seat.
Correct and consistent oiling and maintenance procedures are essential to prevent continuous repairs, or worse, having to purchase new equipment. By reducing the amount of friction between moving parts, the heat inside the handpiece is lowered and therefore wear is reduced.
DID YOU KNOW? All handpieces should be oiled after every use (or after 20 minutes continuous use) and prior to sterilisation. The handpiece should then be sterilised (wrapped if a vacuum cycle) and finally stored in a head up position to avoid any possible corrosion.
Using the right amount of oil on the handpiece is integral to the lubrication process and can make a drastic difference to your handpiece’s health if not done properly. Too little oil means the handpiece won’t run properly, and the whole procedure was essentially time wasted. However too much oil (particularly poor quality oil) can be detrimental, causing a gumming effect around the turbine and effectively writing off your handpiece. All staff understanding correct oiling procedure is essential maintenance for longevity and performance of your equipment. Investing in an oiling machine will ensure consistent and effective oiling and can pay for itself in lower repair and oiling costs.
So, what are the advantages of installing a handpiece maintenance unit?
- Consistent oiling and lubrication- your handpieces will be oiled the same way on every single cycle
- You won’t over-oil the handpieces and cause any damage to autoclaves
- Reduced expenditure on oil long term- most units are more efficient on oil use.
- Lower repair and servicing costs. With consistent and effective oiling you should expect less repairs
- Very little staff training required.
Any disadvantages? There aren’t any! Let’s say ‘points to consider’.
- All units require a compressed air supply which is not always available in the decon room.
- Initial capital outlay- consider rental or finance
- If the unit runs out of oil, damage can be done before you know it. (ensure the unit you buy has an oil level indicator)
- Process time. Some units take longer than others to process the instruments which may or may not be a problem.