Types Of Dental Handpieces And Their Features

dental handpieces

The dental handpieces provide the instrument with a certain speed and guide its movement. For the installation to work properly, it must match the drive.

The principle of operation of the handpieces is that they convert the airflow into kinetic energy. As a result of this transformation, a bur, an endodontic file or a scanner is triggered. The main purpose of the handpieces is to fix working tools and transform energy. Modern dentistry distinguishes several types of transducers. The principle of classification depends primarily on the type of drive of such an element.

Dental handpieces like serrated surgical curette for installation are the most important tools for dentists to ensure the required speed and directional movement of the working instrument. The cutting tools are secured by transmitting rotational movement from the installation sleeve to them. There are dozens of handpiece models available in the market from well-known manufacturers. So, how to choose one.

Before choosing a model, it’s important to decide on the type of handpiece for dental. In the following guide, we explain in detail the dental handpieces and their features.

So, let’s have a look!

Table of Content

Classifications of Dental Handpieces

  • Turbine
  • Low Speed
    • Corner
    • Direct
  • Special
    • Endodontic
  • Surgical
  • Handpiece Requirements in Dentistry


Classifications of Dental Handpieces

The clinical practice of modern dentists is diverse and multifaceted. Progress doesn’t stand still, and dentistry is vivid proof of this. Dental handpieces and implant kits have evolved in terms of the lighting system, replacing halogen lamps with LEDs. Dental handpieces are divided:

  • Turbine
  • Mechanical.

Let’s have a look at these in detail.


Turbine handpieces are most often used in their medical practice by dentists-therapists. With their help, specialists manage to perform the following manipulations – preparation of a carious cavity, getting rid of a tooth from filling material, grinding fillings, opening fissures and all kinds of undercuts.

Turbine models differ from other handpieces in the following characteristics:

  • The high rotational speed of the bur – from 40,000 to 500,000 rpm;
  • insufficient mechanical power.

The second parameter has a significant effect on the operation of the rotor group – with excessive efforts, the device may stop or fail. For this reason, handling the handpieces requires certain skills from the dentist. The advantages of such models:

  • Low cost;
  • Strength;
  • Ease of use;
  • Convenient size and weight.

In order to prolong the life of the turbine handpieces, they should be cared for properly – disinfected after each use and lubricated at least 3 times a day.

Low Speed

Low-speed models of dental handpieces are widely used in surgery, implantology, orthodontics and other fields. In turn, they are divided into several types.

  • Corner

These low-speed handpieces are used for dental treatment of hard-to-reach areas of the patient’s mouth and can be mounted on a micromotor. Thanks to their comfortable curved shape, they’re able to withstand strong lateral loads without vibrating. These handpieces differ in head size, which makes them suitable for use in endodontics and orthodontics. Corner models have the following characteristics:

  • Rotation speed – from 20,000 to 70,000 rpm;
  • Work from a pneumatic or electric motor;
  • Internal or external cooling system.

The contra-angle handpieces are comfortable to use and durable. There are several models – lowering, raising and standard.

  • Direct

Straight handpieces are powered by a pneumatic or electric motor. Their main difference from angular models is that they can exert more effort on the tool due to their design. Speaking of speed indicators, they’re identical to contra-angle handpieces. The classification of direct models is carried out according to the presence or absence of a cooling system.


Endodontic, surgical, scalers are types of handpieces that are distinguished into a separate specialized group.

  • Endodontic

Models of this type are widely used for any manipulations in root canals. There are several types of endodontic handpieces operating in the following modes:

  • Rotation at Low Speeds: The speed is about 300 rpm. This allows you to give a comfortable shape to the canal for further successful filling with special plastic pins.
  • Up and Down Progressive Movement: It’s suitable for filling canals using the wall condensation method.
  • Vibration Preparation: It’s carried out in the modes – sound and ultrasonic. These tips are used in wide and open root canals.


For complex manipulations in dental surgery, a special handpiece is used. Usually, these are stand-alone devices equipped with electronic control units. The use of a surgical handpiece reduces the risk of jamming and instrument breakage in the canal. Due to the presence of special built-in programs, the speed and accuracy of the manipulations in the oral cavity are increased.

The principle of operation of handpieces for removing dental plaque is to create high-frequency oscillations with the further transmission of ultrasound to a replaceable nozzle.

Handpiece Requirements in Dentistry

The health of patients depends on the skill of the dentist and his compliance with the mandatory measures, disinfection, and sterilization of instruments, including handpieces.

Dental instruments are a special risk area for patients to become infected if the medical equipment doesn’t sufficiently process. Infection can be brought in by contact of the handpiece with wounds and damaged tissues in the mouth.

It isn’t difficult to prevent such a situation. It’s enough to carry out all stages of sterilization processing, taking into account the requirements of sanitary legislation. While buying dental products in New York, read the instructions carefully to keep them prolonged.


So, take into account every consideration while buying dental handpieces. The more you keep things in the line, the more likely it becomes easy to provide reliable results.

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