3 Easy Ways to Extend the Life of Your High-Speed Handpiece Turbine

Modern metallic dentist tools and burnishers on a dentist chair

My goal is to help you achieve the longest life and best performance possible from your handpiece repairs. When it comes to high-speed handpieces, properly maintaining their turbines is the number one way to accomplish this goal. Three of the most commonly abused maintenance and operating procedures that lead to premature turbine failure are:

  1. Neglecting your turbine autochuck
  2. Too Much Air Presure
  3. Improper Lubrication

Fortunately, each of these factors are easily preventable. Below are tips on how you can prolong the life of your high-speed handpiece turbine.

Chuck Maintenance

As debris accumulates within the autochuck (bur insertion hole), the build up can cause burs to slip. One short spray or drop of oil into the bur hole once a week will significantly reduce the build up. For more details on proper autochuck maintenance read this article.

Too Much Air Pressure

The maximum recommended air pressure for most high speed handpieces is about 35 pounds per square inch (PSI). You should consult your handpiece manufacturers user guide, (or give me a call) for the specific recommended PSI of your model.  Increasing the air pressure, exponentially decrease the life of your turbine’s bearings.

Improper Lubrication

One of the most common mistakes made is not applying enough lube. I prefer spray lubricant because it forces the oil into the head of the handpiece. I recommend  two seconds of spray lube before AND after sterilization. You should run your handpiece for 20 – 30 seconds after each spray to expel the excess oil and remove debris from the head of the handpiece.  Here is a more detailed description of proper lubrication. If you have a Lube-free style handpiece check out this article, especially if you accidentally lubricated it.