Tag Archives: high speed handpiece

  • Practice Tips #90: Stuck Chuck? You're in Luck!

    Wrench (or “standard”) chuck handpieces have their perks and can be beneficial in your dental practice as they have a lower cost and can be more reliable as they have fewer moving parts. They are also simpler to maintain as you can free up a stuck chuck using a ¼” open-end wrench.

    Back in Practice Tip #63, we discussed the different chucking mechanisms used on high-speed handpieces. This month, we’ll outline the precise technique to use a common hand tool to free up a stuck wrench ("standard") chuck.

    First, if having trouble changing a bur, make sure your bur wrench is functioning properly. The central shaft of the wrench should be solid and not rotate independently of the handle. You can check your wrench using a pliers.

    15-71_PT90 For ordering, see bur wrench #15-71

    Just grasp the central shaft with a pliers and attempt to spin the handle. If you can spin the handle while holding the central shaft, the wrench is stripped (worn) and should be discarded. Replace with a new wrench. Generally, if the wrench is stripped, you’ll also be able to tell; the wrench will spin freely when engaged in the handpiece, but the bur will not loosen.

    If the shaft is solid and you are still unable to open the chuck, the chuck is likely jammed and/or just stuck. In order to open it, you’ll just need more leverage. You can get more leverage by using a ¼” open-end wrench on the handle of the bur wrench. Just place the wrench over the handle as illustrated below:


    Are you still having problems opening the chuck? You’ll need to use a second wrench to hold the spindle steady, while opening the chuck. It will be necessary to steady your handpiece by resting it on a table or counter top and holding the handpiece and wrench with one hand, while turning the wrench on the handle with your other hand.


    During use, debris can get lodged in the chuck causing it to get stuck, or the bur can get jammed in if the handpiece is dropped, bumped, or jarred. Using the techniques illustrated above, you can still free up your handpiece and restore it to proper function quickly and easily.

  • Quick Tip Tuesday #48: Handpieces

    This is a great example of how we can help dentists with technical support. Before you start taking your dental equipment apart and trying to fix it without instructions, ask us or look at our free online technical support center. Our customer wants help with their handpiece:


    We have created a helpful DIY video that will help you maintain your handpiece even further. Our qualified technicians are equipped with a lot of helpful suggestions for your dental handpieces. Let us know how we can help. What else do you need further assistance with?

  • 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.