Factors in Choosing a Top-Quality Dental hand Piece

The hand piece is the most important tool in a dentist’s everyday practice. Since it’s such a precise and sophisticated device, the quality of the hand piece has an impact on the quality of care a practitioner delivers to his or her patients. Consider the following factors in choosing a top quality dental hand piece to use.

S4500_and_S6500

History of the Dental Hand Piece

Before the 1950s, the typical hand piece was driven by an electric belt with a top rotational speed of 50,000 rotations per minute (rpm). The slow speed of these tools made dental work extremely uncomfortable to patients, who felt high pressure and vibrations throughout the procedure. These hand pieces were also heavy and restrictive to dentists.

Modern hand pieces harness new technology to provide faster cutting speeds, less vibration, and a smoother cut. They incorporate ergonomic design, built-in lights for better visibility, and water sprays to cool the surface of a tooth. These innovations are what paved the way for the modern dental practices we see today, which are far more efficient and comfortable for patients and practitioners alike.

Electric vs. Air-Driven Hand Pieces

Today’s hand pieces are either air-driven or powered by electricity. The main difference between the two is the consistency of speed. Electric hand pieces deliver a consistent free-running and active speed. They are generally limited to a default speed of about 40,000 rpm, but users can add a high-speed attachment for additional speed. This, combined with the consistency in speed, can cut the time required to prepare teeth for treatment.

Air-driven hand pieces are smaller and lighter than electric devices, but they can deliver much higher speeds by default. They are also smaller and lighter than electric hand pieces, so dentists with smaller hands tend to prefer them to electric devices.

Factors in Choosing a Top Quality Dental Hand Piece

  • Head size: most manufacturers offer large and small head hand pieces. A smaller head makes it easier for the dentist to better see and access the back of the mouth, while larger heads have a higher power output for speedier work.
  • Sound level: one of the biggest complaints patients have about the dental appointment experience is hearing the loud whirring of the hand piece. Newer models come with lower noise levels of 58 to 71 decibels, which is comparable to a dishwasher or the background conversation in a restaurant.
  • Ergonomic design: since dentists spend many hours a day holding a hand piece, it’s important to find one with the best fit and feel for their hand. Different models vary in size, balance, and weight. Choosing an ergonomic design will help prevent long-term health issues, like carpel tunnel syndrome.

Types of Hand Pieces

  • High-speed or turbine hand pieces operate at speeds of 100,000 to 800,000 rpm. Since the piece generates a lot of heat, all high-speed devices come with a built-in water spray. Some have fiber optic light for better visibility. Sable Industries offers high-speed handpieces both with and without fiber optics.
  • Low-speed hand pieces are used to polish and finish dental procedures after treatment with a higher speed hand piece. They operate between 6,000 and 10,000 rpm.
  • Contra-angle hand pieces have one or more bends in the shaft that isn’t parallel with the grip. They allow practitioners to reach less-accessible areas of the mouth.

 

LOW INCOME AND MENTAL HEALTH CONCERNS: TWO CURSES THAT GO HAND-IN-HAND

Mental health problems like depression can be life-changing. Even though the stigma surrounding  issues like anxiety and depression are starting to lessen, it can be difficult to get help if you don’t have money.

The way the mental health system generally works in Canada is that you can see almost any private therapist immediately…if you can afford the $100 per hour fee that most charge. If money is a concern, organizations like the Canadian Mental Health Association can assist you, but there will be a considerable wait, often several months. Even when you do get to see a therapist, there is generally a limit of a half dozen or so visits. Generally, the only time someone can “jump the queue” is if they are feeling unsafe and on the verge of suicide. In such cases of immediate need, they will meet with a crisis councilor within a day or two. Those professionals will assess and refer them to a psychiatrist; treatment will proceed from there.

While there is a lot of work to be done to improve mental health care for lower income people in big cities, things are worse the further you get from areas with large populations. Mental health situations are of particular concerns for indigenous people as they can be considerable distances from therapists and not have the transportation to get there.

Funding is always in short supply for social programs, but it is clearly needed to provide a level of mental health care that even approaches the adequate. While politicians always say things like, “Where will the money come from?,” it is imperative to think about the other costs that can ensue: lost productivity, lost jobs, failed relationships, and family strife, among others.

There is no magic bullet solution to Canada’s mental health care crisis, but we need to spend more time looking for something that helps.

HOW EXERCISE CAN HELP YOU BEAT DEPRESSION

Depression can be treated a number of ways. When most people hear that someone is in a doctor’s care, they usually assume that the person has been prescribed an anti-depressant.  While these are still widely used, and can be quite effective, some clients prefer to either supplement drugs or replace them altogether with exercise.

No two people are the same, so there is no one right answer. However, the benefits of exercise cannot be dismissed and they go beyond just your physical well-being.

From a mental standpoint, exercise has scientifically proven benefits and while it can be tough to get anything accomplished while depressed, you don’t have to run a marathon to feel better.

Excercise

SOCIALIZATION

People often isolate themselves when depressed and that can just perpetuate their low mood. While you can certainly exercise by yourself at home, it has extra benefits if you step out your front door. Need motivation? Arrange to exercise with a friend. Going to the gym means getting out and being around other people with similar goals. Either way, you are engaging in socialization and that will help to stimulate your brain and make you feel part of the world.

GOING FOR A WALK

The most basic exercise around and yet many of us do not do it with regularity. Again, if you have trouble getting motivated, make plans to walk with a friend. Owning a dog is a great way to get 2-3 walks in per day. You will also benefit from encountering other people.

GETTING THINGS DONE

Motivation decreases when we are sad, but exercise can also help you to get things done. Cutting the grass or working on your garden provides both physical movement and something you can check off your “to do” list. Weather not so great today? Do some work around your home. Moving around will help you feel better and a cleaner home will make you happier.