Air compressors are one of those things you don’t think about as a dental patient, even an “educated” one. It’s never occurred to me to wonder where that blast of air comes from or how vital a compressor is to the dental operatory’s operations. It doesn’t just puff out air to dry things—it runs instruments.
Dentists must consider some very important things when purchasing, maintaining, or using air compressors. Is there enough pressure? Is it clean, oil-free, low-moisture air? Is it free of pathogens and contaminants? Are the lines intact, with no leaks that would diminish pressure or cause it to run more often? Is it large enough to support multiple users simultaneously all day? Can it be expanded as the practice grows? Is the utility room cool enough to keep it cool? How loud is it?
Moisture level and the caliber of filtration are concerns because they impact whether the air is safe for your instruments as well as your patients. Besides the potential to make patients ill, dirty moist air impacts scalers, handpieces, drills, delivery units, 3/1 syringes, and even the dental chair hydraulic system. Internal damage to any of this equipment can cost a fortune in early replacements. Conversely, lower than ideal air pressure will damage instruments, too, not to mention impact their proper operation.
Here are some answers to the above questions: The RAMVAC Osprey Air Compressor from DentalEZ cycle between 85-115 PSI operating pressure, which produces more usable air than any competitors. The Osprey stores air at a pressure dewpoint of -40°C to prevent harmful bacteria from growing. It features a dual-column desiccant dryer that provides 100% continuous dry, clean air. When one column is drying and exiting clean air to the tank, the other is purging moisture from the chamber. These chambers are designed to switch processes immediately to ensure uninterrupted air. The Osprey also features rocking pistons, which bring air through the intake filter and then rotate to pull it through the system. The rocking pistons contribute to keeping the operation quieter. They also reduce friction (which can generate heat), thereby doubling the life of the compression rings compared to standard designs. These features all decrease downtime, which increases productivity from the dental operatory to the hygiene department. The Osprey also features a sound cover that reduces the decibel rating by 6-8 decibels.
In addition to basic controls, the Osprey Air Compressor has a Smart control platform (C2 Control) with a pressure transducer and solid state relays to control cycling. Smart controls also provide maintenance reminders and fault notifications.
Perhaps the pièce de résistance is that RAMVAC compressors come with the best warranty in the industry: 6 years/4200hours.
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