November/December 2010, Volume 31, Issue 9
Published by AEGIS Communications
DentalEZ® Introduces New Technology in Handpieces
According to Rick Gross, Senior Product Manager for StarDental®, handpiece technology is rapidly advancing in many ways. For example, the new electric handpieces are a definite improvement in ease of use. "Converting to an electric setup may be relatively expensive upfront, but in the long run it costs less," he explains. "You don't have to purchase as many different types of air-driven handpieces—it's a little more versatile, being able to do everything from a simple tooth filling, to removing a crown, to complicated endodontic procedures. Also, constant torque and lower noise make electric easier to work with."
In addition, handpieces are now being integrated with LED technology, adapted from operatory lighting. "That's an important development, because we have the EverLight™ in the operatory, and we just introduced a StarBright® LED Handpiece Swivel replacement bulb. We're introducing LED technology into a variety of our products.
"In fact, we've been very robust in introducing new technology," Gross continues. "We were the first to introduce maintenance-free turbine with ceramic bearings. We invented the light source in the handpiece, originally in fiber optics. So it's natural for us to move into newer technologies. Now we're working on some newer handpiece designs that use some very unique LED technology, which are very different from anything that's been on the market to date."
Ergonomic engineering of handpieces is another important aspect. "As an example, our titanium Solara® handpiece is very lightweight—it's probably the lightest in the industry," Gross says. "We are responding to the evolution of the market—there's a much higher female population in dentistry, so the lighter-weight, smaller-gripping handpiece is very important to meet their requirements."
In addressing the practical needs of dental professionals, "we wanted to make it easier for a dental office to maintain their handpieces by offering LubeFree, so they don't have to be repaired as often and they last longer," Gross explains. "Obviously that saves time and money while helping the environment. We also have good relationships with our dealers; we make sure they have the best training possible so they repair to our standards. Therefore, our customers have the option of either in-house or authorized repair, whichever is more convenient."
For future developments, "we'll be working on a better field of vision, so dentists can see the end of the bur and the tooth surface more clearly. Also, lighter-weight materials will be important, along with better power. There's a continual need to push the envelope in terms of both power and control of power, so that handpieces will become easier to use, not as much technique-driven.
"Overall, looking at the industry, we recognize that it's changing: there are going to be more midlevel providers, hygienists, and expanded function dental assistants who are going to need equipment to care for their patients. StarDental has been around for more than 100 years, focusing on the needs of the dental professional. And that's not just the dentist, it's also the hygienist and the assistant—the entire dental office. We expect to be working with them for at least 100 more years."
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