Tag Archives: dental equipment maintenance

  • Quick Tip Tuesday #39: Sterilizers

    There are a few replacement parts that should be replaced routinely; door gaskets and o-rings are a few of the most common ones. Our customer asked this about their autoclave:


    In reference to the photo, see Practice Tip #14. If you have a question, let us know!

  • Practice Tips #82: A Bit About Light Bulbs

    We are celebrating our 7 year anniversary with Practice Tips #82!

    Thank you so much for being with us!

    American Dental Accessories has been proud to offer technical content that can help your practice become more independent for the past seven years. We look forward to many more years of empowering you! Visit our archive to catch up on past issues!

    PT-82_Bulb-Collage LED Bulb (#20-902), Curing Light Bulb (#20-140), & Fiberoptic Bulb (#20-202)

    Bulbs may seem insignificant in the scheme of things but you realize how important they are when a bulb goes out and you have an operatory that is out of commission. Bulbs are used in your operating lights, for your fiber optic handpieces, in x-ray viewers, your curing lights, and a host of other dental equipment. Suddenly, they don’t seem so insignificant.

    Here are a few tips for your practice, so you will always be able to “see the light!"

    1. Always keep spare bulbs on hand:  We’ve said it before with so many items in the dental office and bulbs are no different. Keeping spare bulbs available will allow you to reduce downtime in the operatory and will save you money as you won’t need to call in an expensive technician to get the operatory up and running again.
    2. Never touch bulbs with your fingers:  This is especially true with high intensity bulbs, such as the overhead patient light or curing light bulbs. The oils in your fingers can create a “hot spot” on the bulb or even create a fracture in the bulb housing, which will cause the bulb to fail prematurely. We suggest changing your bulb when the light is cool and while wearing gloves or some kind of barrier when installing it. If you do touch the bulb, you can clean the surface with isopropyl or ethyl alcohol and a cotton swab.
    3. ANSI code numbers printed on bulbs are helpful :  ANSI (American National Standards Institute) coded light bulbs meet specific industry standards for output, shape of bulb, base type, and spread of light beam. In many cases, these codes are printed directly onto the bulb.
      PT-82_BULB-CODE Close-up of the ANSI code on a curing light bulb (#20-125)

      If you are having difficulty figuring out which bulb you need to replace, referring to these codes on the old bulb will assist you in finding the correct match for the bulb you need. American Dental includes the ANSI code in our catalog and in our online product descriptions. We can also cross-reference bulbs using the ANSI code.

    4. Wattage and voltage:  Be mindful of the bulb’s wattage and voltage as well. ANSI codes sometimes are just an indicator of the bulb type, rather than a specific bulb. For example, there are several models of the Belmont operatory lights which use bulbs that are similar in shape and size (designated H-3), but they all have different wattage and voltage.
    5. What is it being used with?  If all else fails, knowing the make and model of the equipment that needs a replacement bulb is always helpful. We can usually locate the correct bulb for you with this information as we have access to the make and model cross references as well.

    As always, feel free to contact us at 1-800-331-7993 with any questions regarding bulbs or you can even hit us up on our live chat system by clicking on the "Live Chat" icon at the top of the page and we will be more than happy to help.

  • Practice Tip #80: 5 Simple Things to Keep Your Equipment Working Well

    Over time, you have learned the ins and outs of your dental office, but how efficient are you at making sure your equipment is working properly? There are a few guidelines to keep in mind when it comes to your daily routines.

      Dirt, dust, and debris can wreak havoc on equipment. Change your filters (see Practice Tip #60) regularly, remove dirt, soil, and debris from surfaces. For infection control (see Practice Tip #76), use barriers instead of disinfectants when possible. Harsh disinfectants can damage equipment long term.
      On a related note, if something can be heat sterilized, do it. Don't just disinfect. In general, heat sterilization is much less harmful to instruments than disinfectants (provided the item is designed to withstand high heat, of course).
      Within reason, avoid “off label” use of instruments and equipment. The precision instruments you use to practice dentistry have been engineered to perform specific tasks and in specific ways. Using instruments other than as directed may put undue strain on components leading to premature wear and failure. For example, keep your handpiece drive air pressure at or below 40 psi and avoid excessive side loads (see Practice Tip #22) on the bur. Increased drive air pressure or leaning into a bur may shorten a given procedure, but these things will also shorten turbine life.
      There are many items that simply wear out with time and should be expected to be replaced. Things like light bulbs, fuses, and o-rings are common “wear and tear” items that you should always have on hand. When you’re down to the last one, order more. A room shouldn’t be down because a bulb has burned out.
      Keep your eyes and ears open. Know your equipment and be familiar with its appearance and sounds. Take note if things don’t look or sound right. Unusual sounds or appearance can be the first sign of a developing problem. If possible, take the item out of service until you can resolve the problem (or at least determine if there is one).

    These five simple steps will help your practice immensely. Our practice tips are designed to help you enhance your dental equipment knowledge and give you the assistance you need to maintain your equipment. If you want to see past practice tips, check out our archive. You can also subscribe to our monthly newsletter for future practice tips (go to the bottom of our homepage to sign up or email techtips@amerdental.com to sign up).