All Handpiece oils are made equal, right? No, unfortunately not. Dealing with thousands of Handpiece repairs on a weekly basis, we get to know the effects of poor oiling, no oiling and poor quality oil.
One practice recently had an issue with higher than normal Handpiece repairs yet they insisted the oiling procedure was carried out according to manufacturer’s instructions and there had been no change in procedure. When the dentist explained that he had had an issue with ‘over-oiling’ and that he was fed up with his Handpieces becoming slimy with oil, we quickly realised the problem and politely asked what oil his practice was using. We were informed me that it was (I won’t mention the brand) a generic budget Handpiece lubricant.
So the cycle of events was – Handpieces being oiled with budget oil, which has a poor composition. The oil remains stuck in globules in and around the Handpiece as it doesn’t flow or disperse easily. Yes, the nurse was oiling the Handpiece correctly, ensuring that clear oil went right through the Handpiece. The Handpiece was autoclaved and ready for use.
During the autoclave process, some of this poor budget oil ran out of the Handpiece and was now coating the exterior of the Handpiece. The dentist by this point is fed up with handling slimy Handpieces so he has a word with the nurse and explains she is ‘over-oiling’ the Handpieces as they are coming out of the sterilisation pouch coated in oil. The nurse takes this advice and only gives the Handpiece a short burst of oil and does not allow the oil to flow through the complete Handpiece. This produces the desired effect with the dentist, he is much ‘happier’ with the Handpieces until they stop working! Any dirt/debris has been pushed into the head of the Handpiece with a serious lack of oil and parts fail, leading to costly repairs.
So what makes a good quality Handpiece oil? Needless to say, Handpiece manufacturers have developed their own oil to best suit their Handpieces. With a good quality oil, the Handpieces can be oiled sufficiently without affecting user experience. The composition of a good quality oil allows the smallest and most intricate parts of the handpiece to be oiled and it should not be possible to over-oil the Handpiece. For more detailed hints and tips on Handpiece oiling see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3meUfyo0XBQ