Customer Service: 1-800-331-7993
August 4, 2015
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!
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!"
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.
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.
June 29, 2014
The turbine is the heart of the high-speed handpiece and bearings are the heart of the turbine.
Bearings are the most common failure point of a turbine and are often the primary differentiator between one turbine and another.
Way back in Practice Tips #22, “High-speed Handpiece Design,” we covered all of the components that make up a complete bearing assembly. For ease of reference, we’ve included the diagram of a bearing assembly below. For further explanation of the components, check out Practice Tips #22.
Today, we’re going to look at some of the different bearing materials and designs on the market.
Many turbines use stainless steel bearings that require lubrication. The balls, inner ring, outer ring, and shield are all made of stainless steel. The ball cage will be made of a polymer (there are a few more variations within this broad category and different types of polymers for the cage, but all these permutations require lubrication).
Stainless steel bearings have been in use for decades and are a proven design with good performance and good reliability. They are manufactured in large quantities for dental turbines and many other industries so cost is comparatively low. As these turbines incorporate metal bearings in metal housings, they require lubrication. Most handpiece lubricants on the market are designed to withstand the rigors of sterilization, but these turbines should still be lubricated every time they are used (see our handpiece maintenance products here). Lubrication after using and before sterilization is generally adequate, but consult the manufacturer of your turbine and lubricant to determine if post sterilization lubrication is required as well.
Many turbines currently on the market are advertised as “lube free.” There are 2 primary methods of manufacturing lube free bearings:
LTL bearings are still the same basic stainless steel design so they share many of the features of standard stainless bearings. The greasing and sealing process adds to the cost (and they aren’t manufactured in quantities like the standard bearings), so they will add to the cost of the turbine or handpiece that uses them. The sealing process, also, prevents debris from getting into the center of the bearing assembly and on the actual steel balls, so maintenance is a little easier. Nonetheless, these bearings (or, more accurately, turbines that incorporate these bearings) still need to be cleaned after every use and before sterilization.
Last of all, there are ceramic bearings. Ceramic bearings are actually made of a ceramic silicon nitride, so they have a very smooth low-friction surface. The low-friction surface removes the need for lubrication and also minimized heat build-up during use. They, also, withstand high temperatures very well, so they withstand repeated sterilization better than stainless steel bearings.
Both LTL and ceramic bearings will run at higher rpm than stainless bearings and are better able to handle higher air pressure (they typically require in excess of 40 psi drive air pressure). The higher rpm can help these turbines cut faster so some practitioners feel they perform better (naturally, this is subjective).
In summary, the materials and techniques used to manufacture lube free bearings are more costly than standard stainless bearings, so these bearings (or the turbines that incorporate them) often cost twice as much as turbines that need to be lubricated. It’s up to the practitioner if the advantages are worth the expense.
September 24, 2013
Install your Star 430 push button turbine in minutes! Watch this video to see just how easy it can be.
For more handpiece installation information, see our Dental Handpiece Turbine Installation video.
Can’t see the video? You can also view this video on Youtube.