© Kran Kanthawong | Dreamstime.com
2010 De Clou P01 5f974191e4e03

Plugging in instead of blowing air

Oct. 1, 2020
Many dentists are committed to air-drive handpieces. But many of your colleagues are raising their games using electric handpieces. A lot has changed since the initial heavy, expensive, hard-to-learn electric handpieces came out.

I know that quite a number of you remain committed to air-driven handpieces. It was what you used in school. You have established clinical workflows with equipment you trust. I get it.

What I also know is that no matter how long you’ve been practicing, whether you’re a high-tech CEREC user or still mixing up alginate, or whether you practice in a town of 10,000 or in Beverly Hills, electric handpieces can raise your game. Chances are you know and respect a colleague using electric. Maybe you’ve wondered, “Why do they love it and I don’t? Is it electrics or is it me?” 

It isn’t you! When electrics first came on the scene, they were heavier, the learning curve was steep, and they were expensive. Trust me when I say that so much has changed. In our current moment, with its emphasis on safety, I saw the significant value that electric handpieces bring to dentists and patients alike in reducing aerosol spray. But in speaking with practitioners, I was reminded of how much value they bring even when we aren’t dealing with a pandemic:

Consistent torque for improved cutting performance—This is a game-changer with modern materials like zirconia.

Versatility for the ways practices are growing and changing—With the right motor combination, the electric handpiece can be your go-to for a wide range of procedures, including restorative, endo, and surgical.

Quieter, cooler, and more efficient—Electrics make the patient experience infinitely better.

To be fair, this column is called Technology in Two Minutes, and it would take more time than that to go into the many benefits that electric handpieces deliver. As the workhorses of the practice, handpieces aren’t usually viewed as high-tech purchases. But companies such as Bien-Air are changing that, bringing in not only world-class design and precision engineering, but also smart features that demonstrate that they really listen to dentists’ needs. Their iOptima was recently awarded its seventh—yes, seventh—Best of Class Technology Award. It is the only handpiece company to earn that distinction. This is not a Bien-Air commercial, but a testament to the fact that there are handpiece companies that are committed to innovation in important ways. 

So, you don’t have to finish this column a believer, but trust me when I say an electric handpiece demo is well worth your time. As a matter of fact, take a demo and email me at [email protected] to share your experience. Be safe. Be well.  

LOU SHUMAN, DMD, CAGS, is the CEO of Cellerant Consulting Group, a leading dental corporate incubator and accelerator. He is a venturer-in-residence at Harvard’s i-Lab, the chairman of the technology advisory board at WEO Media, a member of the editorial advisory board of Dental Economics, and founder of the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Awards.

About the Author

Lou Shuman, DMD, CAGS

Lou Shuman, DMD, CAGS, is the CEO of Cellerant Consulting Group, dentistry’s leading corporate incubator and accelerator. He is a venturer-in-residence at Harvard’s i-Lab, cofounder of LightForce Orthodontics, a member of the Dental Economics advisory board, and founder of the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Awards. He was selected in 2021 by Global Summits Institute as one of the World’s Top 100 Doctors.

Updated September 20, 2022

Sponsored Recommendations

Clinical Study: OraCare Reduced Probing Depths 4450% Better than Brushing Alone

Good oral hygiene is essential to preserving gum health. In this study the improvements seen were statistically superior at reducing pocket depth than brushing alone (control ...

Clincial Study: OraCare Proven to Improve Gingival Health by 604% in just a 6 Week Period

A new clinical study reveals how OraCare showed improvement in the whole mouth as bleeding, plaque reduction, interproximal sites, and probing depths were all evaluated. All areas...

Chlorine Dioxide Efficacy Against Pathogens and How it Compares to Chlorhexidine

Explore our library of studies to learn about the historical application of chlorine dioxide, efficacy against pathogens, how it compares to chlorhexidine and more.

Enhancing Your Practice Growth with Chairside Milling

When practice growth and predictability matter...Get more output with less input discover chairside milling.