Hand Instruments and Handpieces
Inside Dental Hygiene (IDH): What are the most important factors to consider when purchasing a handpiece?
Stephanie Pajot, RDH: The most important factors are cost, effectiveness for the required procedure, ease of use, ease of disinfection, weight, noise volume emitted, and portability between operatories. Another key factor is battery life. If you're buying a diode laser, always get a cordless one. Ask the product rep if you can try a unit for a day before making a purchasing decision.
IDH: What advanced features are available today?
Pajot: I prefer instruments with color-coded handles, with lighter but textured surfaces for an easier grip. I highly recommend having at least a few mini, after five Gracey curettes for deep, narrow pockets and furcations. These are made with a longer shank, a shorter working end, and a rounded toe so as not to injure tissue. Implants are far more common today, so it's critical to have the appropriate instruments on hand. Plastic instruments are gentle and wide, but they won't remove much other than food debris or plaque. You will need something with more strength to remove calculus or residual cement. Two instruments I can't live without are a titanium sickle scaler and a titanium mini Gracey ½. They are designed for the anterior, but I've been able to adapt them for the posterior as well.
IDH: How important is having a diverse armamentarium?
Pajot: A diverse armamentarium is key, and the first step to getting there is to evaluate your patient population. If you work mostly with pediatric patients, your toolkit will look different than if you're working in a periodontal practice. One way to save on cost but have everything you need is to decide what your basic setup should look like. This may be only five to six instruments including your mouth mirror.
Pac-Dent ProMate™ CL Cordless Hygiene Handpiece
The Pac-Dent ProMate™ CL Cordless Hygiene Handpiece has been ergonomically designed. It delivers independence from heavy cord drag while providing dual-mode speed control and increased operator comfort during prophylaxis procedures. The ProMate CL offers the flexibility of using any preferred disposable prophy angles, and it is 20% lighter than other low-speed handpieces. It features a dual-mode speed control with six speed settings. It can be operated via quick-touch button or a Bluetooth-powered foot pedal. The battery is powerful enough to last through a whole day's worth of procedures. The sterilizable outer sheath has been designed to be steam autoclavable in compliance with the CDC's sterilization and infection control guidelines. A disposable polyethylene barrier is available to cover the handpiece. The ProMate CL has been made with the clinician in mind to be cordless, effortless, and extraordinary.
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