Around 60 years ago, air-driven handpieces were introduced in the field of dentistry. These tools revolutionized dental care with capabilities to perform functions in cleaning and tooth preparation for restorations. With all of the technological developments that have been made in recent years, dental technology has vastly improved, including the technology used for handpieces. At National Dental East Meadow, we take advantage of the latest developments in our office and employ the use of electric handpieces.


As the name suggests, electric handpieces rely on electricity to create a rotary motion. This is a huge difference from older style handpieces that are air-driven. The tools are often likened to an electric drill in the way that they operate. Handpieces are arranged in a variety of different speeds, and the speeds determine the tool’s purpose. High-speed handpieces can perform tasks like preparing your teeth for dental crowns, while lower speed ones can perform tasks like polishing your teeth, endodontic treatment, or cleaning cavities.


Electric handpieces allow us to preset some different speeds directly into them, allowing us to set speeds for treatments we routinely perform. Polishing composite resin, for instance, is often done at a speed of 6,000 to 8,000 RPM, which keeps the tool from generating too much heat. Ceramic restorations, on the other hand, can handle higher speeds. We can also preset speeds for procedures like cleaning cavities, endodontic (root canal) treatments, preparing your teeth for dental crowns and much, much more. With the ability to select our speeds beforehand, the need for guesswork is eliminated. There is no more unpredictability with a foot pedal as there once was with air-driven handpieces.


Not only can we preselect, or dial in, our desired speed, electric handpieces also provide consistent torque. This means that no matter what job the tool is performing (polishing, preparing your tooth, or cutting through ceramic), it will not get bogged down. Typically, with an air-driven handpiece, lower speeds could often lead the tool to falter. Prolonged use, or cutting through materials like ceramic, could also cause it to stall. This is not an issue with electric handpieces.


Air-driven handpieces are notoriously loud. Even with all of the advancements that have been made on air-driven technology, the turbine is still noisy. For patients who experience anxiety over going to the dentist, this noise can induce fear, thus keeping them from getting the dental treatment that they need. Putting off your dental care has dire consequences on your oral health. It can even affect your overall health as well. Small issues that go untreated only continue to worsen, and more severe oral health issues require more involved treatment. However, when you have a strong enough fear, you may still ignore the need to go.

Instead of an air turbine, electric handpieces operate on electricity. Because of this, they are significantly quieter than their air-driven counterparts. Less noise equates to less anxiety, allowing you to relax and get the treatment you need as soon as you notice an issue.

With electric handpieces, our ability to provide you with the best quality care is greatly improved. For more information on electric handpieces, contact National Dental East Meadow today at (516) 962-2292.