It has been well documented that and that the retained materials may be expelled into future patients intraorally during subsequent uses on patients. Recent studies have shown that the internal portions of some low-speedhandpiece motors have the potential to become contaminated when used with both disposable and reusableprophylaxis angles and there is the potential for internal contamination to be released through the prophylaxisangle into the mouth of a patient during subsequent uses. As a result, infection-control protocols/asepsis fordental handpieces and other devices that can be removed from the air and waterlines must address both theoutside and the inside of the device.Recommended pre-sterilization maintenance processes are similar for all handpieces with only slight variations.Handpiece asepsis begins chair side by carefully wiping any visible debris from the handpiece and flushing thehandpiece water and/or air lines for 20–30 seconds with the bur in place. This procedure is intended to helpphysically flush out patient material that might have entered the turbine and air and waterlines. Following this,all handpieces and attachments should be transported to the clinic instrument processing area. The drills arethen scrubbed, rinsed, and dried. Most manufacturers do not recommend ultrasonic cleaning.A sequential process of cleaning, purging, lubricating and more purging follows. Some manufacturers havecombined the lubricant with the cleaner, eliminating some steps. Purging after lubrication is critical because itdistributes lubricant to the air turbine assembly and expels any excess. Finally, if applicable, the fiber optics atboth ends of the handpiece should be cleaned with a damp cotton swab according to manufacturer instructions.A variety of systems to help with handpiece maintenance before heat sterilization are commercially available withthe most basic product being a manually-operated purging station. After administering the cleaning and lubricatingsolutions, the handpiece is held to the device to purge it. Recently, units have been introduced which use anautomated process to clean, lubricate, and purge handpieces. Some of these units can handle more than onehandpiece at a time. The handpieces are simply snapped onto the appropriate coupler, the door closed, and afterpushing the start button, all processes occur automatically. At the completion of the cycle, the handpieces areready for packaging and heat sterilization.Most of the automatic-maintenance units can handle the majority of currently available high- and low-speedhandpieces, air motors, and e-type attachments. All of the units accept most major handpiece brands, however manufacturer-specific couplers may need to be purchased separately.Handpiece manufacturers typically recommend using their own products to maintain their handpieces and offerproprietary cleaners, lubricants and other maintenance items when handpieces are purchased. When asked,most handpiece manufacturers had no information to indicate that maintaining their handpieces on anothermanufacturers’ system was detrimental. Some manufacturers even indicated they would honor the handpiecewarranty if maintained on another manufacturer’s system. However, it is advisable to consult with the handpiecemanufacturer before purchasing another manufacturer’s maintenance system.
read more: Highspeed drills have the potential for retracting oral fluids into the head of the drill