Picking the right handpieces can be a daunting task; there are tons of different brands, makes, and models. Dental handpieces are one of the most important pieces of your entire dental practice. They are the foundational piece that you use every single day. Yes, it can seem impossible to pick one from the many that would fit your practice perfectly. Well, I am here to tell you it’s not! Let’s dive into some key aspects that will help narrow down your search when it’s time to buy dental equipment, and help you decide exactly what you need.
Now, why listen to me? What the heck do I know about anything dental? Well, I have been in the industry working specifically on dental handpieces for the last 7 years. I have seen thousands upon thousands of different makes and models, in all different shapes and sizes. It seems like every day there are new types of dental handpieces popping up all over the place; let alone, the big manufacturers are releasing new models all the time, along with low speed attachments from other manufacturers! It is intimidating looking at all of the different models; however, on the inside, they are all nearly the same with small changes here and there to make them slightly different and “better” than their benefactors.
Quality Handpieces vs. Disposable Handpieces
Nowadays you have handpieces from $20 all the way to over $1000. Why is there such a difference in dental handpiece price? Why don’t you just buy 50 $20 handpieces and use them all day long and throw them away when they break? Well, you can, and some Dr’s do. It may even seem like you are saving money, but I guarantee that you aren’t. Those cheap handpieces are going to last you about a month if you’re lucky. You’ll be constantly replacing them, and will usually be buying more than just 50 a year. Plus, you get what you pay for. There is a huge difference between the high-quality handpieces and these cheap plastic ones. If you want to do ethical, high-quality dental work, buy yourself something that you can rely on. The cheap ones can spray contaminated air and cause infections, have unreliable and wobbly chuck systems that make it nearly impossible to cut easily, and they break easily. How do you think your patients will feel when you whip out a plastic handpiece to perform a surgery?
I urge you to put down some money and get a solid, reliable handpiece that will last you over a decade.
What You Should Consider Before Choosing Dental Handpiece?
1. What Type of Procedure Will You Use It For
We will start with your individual practice. Just what exactly is your specialty? Are you a pediatric dentist that needs a smaller handpiece head that is easier to maneuver and perform your procedure? Are you an Endodontists who will be performing delicate surgery and need something with an angle to reach those special places? The list can go on and on. There are handpieces made specifically for your specialty. Take a deep dive into what specifically you need based on your practice. This will greatly narrow down your search to help you make a decision.
2. Air Systems vs. Electrical Systems: Which One to Choose?
This is one of the biggest decisions you will make, but also one of the easiest. Pneumatic and electrical systems have stark differences, while also having great similarities. One of the easiest ways to pick between the two is your budget. Electric handpieces require much more of an investment than pneumatic systems. However, the investment usually pays off as electric handpieces are stronger, longer-lasting, and offer much more torque for drilling. If you are willing to make the investment, they offer great options. On the other hand, pneumatic handpieces offer amazing working handpieces that fit most Dr.’s needs. You save a bit of money compared to electric handpieces, all while having a solid, reliable handpiece. Pneumatic handpieces are the most popular in offices across the country, and that should speak for itself.
3. Determine the Right Budget
Setting a budget will help you decide, not only between electric and air, but it will help you narrow down what make and model of handpieces you would be interested in. As mentioned earlier, the amount of handpieces out in the market is nearly never-ending. Having a solid budget that you are willing to stick to will help you narrow down just exactly what you want from your handpieces. Now, the differences between the $20 handpieces and the $500 handpieces are immense. However, the difference between the $500 handpieces and the $1500 handpieces isn’t as large. The turbines are usually tweaked just a little bit, and the materials used in the manufacturing of the handpieces are likely different. The turbines will work just as well, maybe make a little more noise, and last a decent amount compared to the ultra-fancy models. The handpiece’s lifespan will be a little bit shorter, but overall, it will still last you over a decade with correct dental handpiece maintenance. The main difference between the expensive handpieces compared to the affordable handpieces are the warranty periods. With the expensive, you are looking at 3-4 years. With the affordable, you’re looking at about 1 year. Are you going to be spending an extra $1000 in that 2-3 year gap? Not likely. On average, in our shop, we see handpieces once a year and the average cost is $150. Quick math will show that you that is only $450 in repairs, much lower than the $1000 difference.
I am not trying to talk you away from purchasing the high-quality expensive models. They are truly an excellent choice. They are the “cream-of-the-crop” per say, and you will be extremely happy with them. They feature the newest technologies and are worth every penny. I am just letting you know that the affordable handpieces they sell aren’t going to cause major problems in your everyday life as a dentist.
I hope this helps you with your decision-making! No matter what you choose, you will be happy. If you are not 100% happy, you can always sell them for a decent amount and purchase new ones after the warranty period is over. If you need help choosing between brands, I have an in-depth breakdown of the top highspeed dental handpieces. I even have reviews for electric handpieces. Shoot! I even have reviews for low-speed motors as well! As always, if you want to pick our expert’s brain, feel free to contact us here. Finally, if you have anything broken that needs to be repaired, you can begin a repair order here.