It’s Electric: NSK’s NLX Nano Micromotor Combines with Ti-Max Z95L Handpiece to Support Conservative Dentistry
NSK Dental LLC is no newcomer to the business of manufacturing dental handpieces. The Hoffman Estates, Illinois-based company has been offering “the finest high-speed rotary cutting technologies—and service” since 1930, according to its website ( www.nskdental.us).
During its nearly 85-year history, NSK has witnessed many trends in tooth preparation tools, says Rob Gochoel, Director of Sales & Marketing. The trend today, he suggests, is toward “more powerful handpieces that provide higher torque, while at the same time creating smaller head and neck dimensions that make access and visibility easier.” This, he says, is a win-win situation for both clinicians, who can provide a more conservative preparation design by cutting teeth quickly and efficiently, and patients, who are the beneficiaries of the conservative dentistry that preserves their tooth structure.
Gochoel notes that while both air-driven and electric handpieces cut tooth structure effectively, many clinicians are switching to electric technology, which is generally quieter and able to provide constant cutting power in contrast to air-driven handpieces whose high speed is reduced upon contact with tooth structure. “Electric micromotors and handpieces provide constant cutting power, which is advantageous in removing crowns, designing preparations for CAD/CAM restorations, and increasing productivity,” he maintains.
According to Gochoel, a relatively recent introduction from NSK has overcome what have in the past been considered the main disadvantages of electric handpieces—their hefty price tag as well as their weight. “Many clinicians feel that electric handpieces are too heavy and not well balanced and that the high price of entry does not make considering them worthwhile,” he says. NSK’s NLX nano electric micromotor, he explains, is a “short motor,” which is 30% lighter and shorter than previous-generation electric micromotors.
“When combined with a titanium-body electric attachment handpiece like NSK’s Ti-Max Z95L, the weight is only slightly higher than an air-driven handpiece that swivels on a coupler, and the weighted balance point is virtually identical,” he says. The cost, he adds, is very competitive. “Most offices find that they can begin using electric micromotors and handpieces for less than $4,000.”
Gochoel predicts the trend towards more powerful handpieces with smaller head and neck dimensions will be especially attractive to the growing number of women entering the profession. “As more women enter dental school and become a majority of dental school graduates, smaller and lighter handpieces are essential to affording them the ability to practice minimally invasive dentistry and feel comfortable in designing tooth preparations.” He also foresees more North American dentists incorporating electric micromotors and handpieces into their practices and that more students will be taught to use electric handpieces in dental schools.
To ease the transition to electric handpieces for practitioners accustomed to air-driven units, NSK offers customers the opportunity to “test drive” its technology, Gochoel says. “We typically leave a motor and handpiece or two for an office to ‘demo’ in their practice for up to a week. This allows the clinician to use them in typical procedures.”
The company also supports customers who purchase the equipment by helping them with planning and installation. “We do this by offering different bracket options and ideas for placement, so that the office does not need to find additional counter space to place the motor,” Gochoel explains. Beyond that, NSK’s sales representatives work with distributor service technicians to install the units to ensure proper air and water connections and “that everything is working properly from the start.”
Looking ahead, Gochoel anticipates a continuing trend toward both more powerful yet compact handpieces and variety. “You can expect to see more powerful handpieces with smaller dimensions, including more niche options. Dentists may have several handpieces that they use regularly depending on the patient’s oral anatomy and the particular procedure.” Bur companies, he adds, are also providing more options to pair with these specialty handpieces to optimize cutting ability and, therefore, tooth preparation. “This will allow clinicians even more flexibility when designing tooth preparations and give them the ability to be as minimally invasive as possible.”
NSK Dental LLC
1800 Global Parkway
Hoffman Estates, IL 60192