I get this question a lot, and there is no “one size fits all” answer. With that said, here are some things to consider:
- Once you have reached your 4th turbine replacement, you have essentially invested at least or more than the cost of a new handpiece. At this point, the cost of ownership is not in your favor and you should consider purchasing new handpieces.
- Multiple studies by the US Navy & US Air Force have shown that after 1,000 autoclave cycles, “handpieces exhibited greater eccentricity and reduced fiber optic performance.” No matter who you have servicing your handpieces, these issues can only be minimally fixed. You may be able to deal with a reduction in light, but eccentricity is not something that can be completely fixed. Replacing the ball bearings will help a little, but the head of the handpiece is metal which wears over time, and greater eccentricity means you are not as accurate with your handpiece and it is overheating.
- Your handpiece is the #1 production tool in your practice, so making sure it is still performing at it’s best is crucial to the life of your practice.
- Handpieces can rup up to 400,000 rpm, making them faster than a jet engine! The machines that manufacturers use to calibrate the handpiece costs over $1 million! With that said, if your handpiece is over 7 years old, it’s probably not performing the way it did when you first bought it.
- Handpieces have evolved over the last 15 years, with better features to help your procedures easier and more visible.
- Not all handpieces are created equally. Various ADA, US Navy, and US Air Force studies have shown that Midwest, Kavo, W&H, and NSK outperform other manufacturers in various aspects including longevity.
Still think your handpiece is perfectly fine and working great? Let me loan you a new handpiece for a week and see if you still feel the same.