One of the things women never get to experience is the feeling that dads get on Father’s Day when they open that new drill they’ve wanted to add to their toolbox for some time. Well, I recently got very close to that feeling when I added a new electric handpiece to my practice. I think we should create a new holiday - “Dentist’s Day” - when every dentist can acquire one of these handpieces.
The focus of my practice has always been on making my patients more comfortable and providing a better experience. My improved handpiece does that while also benefiting me.
I tried several electric handpieces made by various manufacturers and found that many were too heavy and somewhat cumbersome. I didn’t always experience the sound reduction that was promised. However, with my new electric handpiece (KaVo ELECTROtorque, pictured at right) and its digital controls, these problems are gone. I have found a truly new and effective technology.
My previous handpiece tended to jump around when I was removing a restoration, making it somewhat difficult to control. It had both a small and large head, which I had to change for different patients. My new handpiece, on the other hand, makes me feel as if I’m slicing through butter, not mercury amalgam. It’s so smooth and powerful that, along with my burs (AXIS), it cuts through metal and tooth effortlessly. It has a single, small head that works well with every patient - a “one head fits all” solution.
Among health concerns that have emerged recently is the danger of hearing loss that faces dentists because of their constant exposure to high handpiece noise levels. My new handpiece reduces that risk substantially. In fact, one of my assistants noticed that her suction device is louder than my new drill.
Another health concern dentists often face is fatigue. A well-balanced electric handpiece can reduce fatigue considerably.
The fact that I now have complete control of the motor’s speed is revolutionary. Previously, it depended on the handpiece’s attachments and motor size as to the RPM level of operation. Now, to polish a facial composite with a series of polishers, I can quickly increase the RPMs so I can work faster, and then easily lower the speed when I am finishing.
A handpiece with these features is a real gift to the dentist as well as the patient. For “Dentist’s Day,” consider a new handpiece that will make your life easier! There are a lot of options on the market. Shop well.
Dr. Cynthia Brattesani maintains a private practice in San Francisco. She won the prestigious ADA Golden Apple New Dentist Leadership Award in 1996. She is an enthusiastic member of organized dentistry, having held positions at the local, state, and national levels. You may reach her at email@example.com.