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Plugged in for Success: Electric Handpieces are the Future. Here’s Why.

January 11, 2021
by Lou Shuman, DMD, CAGS, CEO and Founder of Cellerant Consulting


I know that quite a number of dentists remain committed to air-driven handpieces. It was what you used in school. You have established clinical workflows in place with equipment you trust.

What I also know is that no matter how long you’ve been practising, whether you’re a high-tech CEREC user or still mixing up alginate, whether you practise in a town of 10,000 or in Toronto – electric handpieces can raise your game. Chances are, you know, and respect, a colleague using electric. Maybe you’ve wondered, “Why do they love it and I don’t? Is it electrics or is it me?”

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It isn’t you! When electrics first came on the scene they were heavier, the learning curve was pretty steep, and they were expensive. Trust me when I say that so much has changed! In our current moment, with emphasis on safety, I saw the significant value they bring to dentists and patients alike in reducing aerosol spray. But in speaking with practitioners, I was reminded of how much value they bring even when we aren’t dealing with a pandemic:

  • Consistent torque for improved cutting performance – a game-changer with modern materials like zirconia.
  • Versatility for the ways practices are growing and changing. With the right motor combination, the electric handpiece can be your go-to for a wide range of procedures, including restorative, endo and surgical.
  • Quieter, cooler and more efficient, electrics make the patient experience infinitely better.

To be fair, this is a column, not a book, as it would take much more time to go into the many benefits that electric handpieces deliver. As the workhorse of the practice, handpieces aren’t usually viewed as a “high tech” purchase, but companies like Bien-Air are changing that dynamic, bringing in not only world-class design and precision engineering, but also smart features that demonstrate someone was really listening to what the dentist needs. Their iOptimaINT set was recently awarded its 7th – yes, their 7th – Best of Class Technology Award. It is the only handpiece company to earn that distinction. This is not a Bien-Air commercial, but a testament to the fact that there are handpiece companies who are committed to innovation in important ways.
You don’t have to finish this column a believer, but trust me when I say an electric handpiece demo is well worth your time.

Editor’s Note: A version of this article originally appeared in the October 2020 issue of Dental Economics. It is with their permission that it was repurposed for a new audience.


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