Lube Free does not mean maintenance free. Now that sealed ceramic bearings and lube free handpieces are becoming more prevalent, we see more handpieces come in due to chuck not retaining bur properly. See the button in the picture above? That’s typically the culprit. In a lubricated handpiece, some of the lubricant is expelled through the chuck during maintenance and serves to expel debris and lubricate chuck, keeping it functioning properly. However, in handpieces such as the Star Lube Free 430 swl and Solara which use sealed, pre-greased ceramic bearings, this activity is bypassed.
But what about the handpiece chuck you ask?
Awesome question! Any residue that gets sucked up in the vortex will get baked on in the sterilization process and literally varnish the handpiece chuck, soon limiting functionality and leading to the words you so hate to write “chuck won’t hold bur”. We’ve seen it many times, more so lately with the advent of lube free ceramic bearings.
Check out the following cleaning procedure. And remember, it applies to all handpiece chuck types:
- High speeds
- Low speeds
- Latch Heads
- Friction Grip
- Nose cones
Prolong Handpiece Chuck Life
Once A Week – Prior to Autoclave:
- Remove bur and spray handpiece chuck with handpiece cleaner/lubricant.
- Use an interproximal brush to remove debris. (if spray can does not have a tip to fit chuck opening, just spray brush prior to inserting it into handpiece chuck. Liquid lube/cleaner works well for this also)
- We like to use a handpiece control unit syringe here to spray into chuck and flush out debris.
- Repeat if necessary.
Pretty simple, don’t you think? Hey, nobody said this was particle physics. Although, particles may have been the problem.
Star has a product called Junk-Out Chuck Cleaner which has the cleaner and brush described. Or, if you want, just take a look at DentalHandpieces.com/brushes. I think you might be amused by the brushes we use. We like them because the multiple sizes allow us to clean highspeed, lowspeeds, and anything in between. They also have multiple brands of cleaners which will work well for this application. Just try to find one with the little cone type applicator like the one pictured above.
Doing this on a weekly basis, will prevent buildup and greatly enhance the life and functionality of the handpiece chuck. Every office that uses handpieces should have a regular handpiece chuck maintenance procedure.