Blog Details

Air-Driven or Electric? That Is the Question


What do you use in your practice? Are you strictly an air-driven dentist or electric? Or do you feel comfortable using both? Whatever your preferences, it doesn’t hurt to be reminded of the advantages and challenges of both. After all, your handpieces are probably the most used equipment in your office.


Air-Driven Handpieces

As you’re probably aware (and as their name implies), air-driven handpieces use air to cut and spin. They’ve been around for a long time and their easy to maintain and repair. And they’re relatively inexpensive. Here are few things to keep in mind about air-driven handpieces:

  • High-speed air-driven handpieces are smaller and lighter than electric, which means good visibility inside the mouth and less user fatigue.
  • High-speed air-driven handpieces have a lower torque than electric, and when they make contact with the tooth, resistance slows the bur.
  • These handpieces don’t usually get damaged during sterilization, but even if they do, repair costs are minimal.
  • Low-speed air-driven handpieces, which are great for use in the hygiene operatory during prophy procedures, tend to be noisy.


Electric Handpieces

Many dentists are a bit intimidated by the learning curve and cost of electric handpieces, especially when they’re perfectly happy with their air-driven instruments. And the electric motor makes them a bit heavier. Consider these points when thinking about electric handpieces:

  • High-speed electric handpieces run as high as 200,000 rpm. They provide consistent torque that doesn’t decrease when faced with resistance.
  • This consistent torque and speed results in a smooth, precise cutting edge.
  • A smaller head provides users with better visibility.
  • Electric handpieces are pretty quiet, which is a better experience for the patient (and you and your staff).


In the end, you know what’s best for you, your patients, and your practice. Do your research and then start shopping for air-driven and electric handpieces at

COMMENTS Post a Comment

No comments