Air-Driven Handpieces

George Freedman, DDS
Fay Goldstep, DDS

Dental handpieces are used for virtually every clinical and auxiliary procedure, from prophylaxis to surgery, from occlusal adjustment to crown and bridge preparation. Rotary instruments are involved in virtually every procedure that practitioners and auxiliaries perform. Handpieces are in active use during a large part of each and every working day. In fact, the dental handpiece is the basic clinical tool of the dental practice.
For the dental practitioner, handpiece parameters must include efficiency, size, ergonomics, ease of bur exchange, and sterilization/disinfection protocols. Since handpieces are part of so many practice activities, their efficiency has a major impact on practice overhead. Handpieces must be specifically suited to particular tasks, facilitating common procedures. They must be intuitive, easy to use, and comfortable to manipulate.
The handpiece must grip the bur quickly, securely, and concentrically. When locked into the handpiece, the bur must stay securely in place under extreme operating conditions, including high torque, significant rotational speed, and extensive vibration. A rapidly rotating bur that flies out of the handpiece can cause significant damage in the patient’s mouth, to the dentist’s hands, or both. Bur concentricity is an important factor in keeping the bur true in the handpiece and cutting effectively. Damaged or worn turbines permit bur wobbling during rotation. The bur path in or on the tooth becomes elliptical rather than circular, causing chatter, vibration, and excessive noise, generating a greater perception of pain for the patient and hand fatigue for the operator.
Bur changing speed contributes significantly to clinical efficiency. Bur changing time is nonproductive time. The dentist and auxiliary stop all activity to remove the bur, replace it with the next cutting instrument, reposition the handpiece within the mouth, re-establish visibility, and begin working again. The total downtime may be one to 2 minutes per bur change. This lost time represents a significant loss of clinical productivity.
It is essential that air-driven handpieces have adequate torque. The high speed overcomes the loss of torque during the load (the actual cutting contact phase). There are new technologies, such as twin turbines, which produce higher rotational power. Pressurized systems prevent air line suckback, promoting infection control. Effective braking mechanisms stop the turbine almost instantly once the rheostat pressure is removed.
Innovations in handpiece design and facilitated maintenance are serving to improve this segment of dentistry. Advanced technology permits manufacturers to offer these handpieces at more competitive prices, as well. The modern, high-speed air handpiece makes dental treatment more effective, more efficient, and more accessible.


The groundbreaking technology of the Air Light will change dentistry. This handpiece features a direct LED light powered by its own minigenerator that is built into the handpiece. This technology allows the operator to have the advanced illumination of LED quality light without the burden of any traditional fiber-optic requirements. All you need is an Air Light handpiece connected to your tubing, and you will have LED-quality light illuminating your procedure site. For more information, call (800) 221-0750 or visit

Bien-Air Dental

The new Bora L Blackline combines innovative technology with exceptional ergonomics. A carbon-fiber handle, 3 times lighter than titanium, makes these handpieces extremely robust. Even after 10,000 sterilization cycles, Blackline handpieces show no sign of deterioration. They are equipped with dual glass rods and LEDs, providing ideal distribution of light intensity and 10 times the service life of a standard bulb. For more information, call (800) 433-2436.


The AirLight has a truly innovative design that incorporates a highly efficient micro built-in generator to power the LED. The generator will eliminate the need for a fiber-optic system from your dental delivery unit. You simply attach the AirLight handpiece to any of your existing 4-, 5-, and 6-hole handpiece tubing, and you will get some of the brightest LED illumination. Beyes offers configurations that fit into your existing couplers. The AirLight will exceed almost all previous market expectations on handpiece illumination. For more information, call (877) 703-3562 or visit the Web site

Brasseler USA

The NL9000 high-speed air handpiece was engineered with one thought in mind: performance. Constructed of lightweight, high-strength titanium, it sets the standard for high-speed air handpieces. Featuring ceramic bearings, quick-disconnect swivel coupling, and fiber optics, the NL9000 is available in miniature, standard, and high-torque head sizes. For more information, call (800) 841-4522 or visit the Web site

NSK Dental

The new air-driven Ti-Max Z series is the most powerful air-driven handpiece on the market to­day. It provides an unprecedented 26W of power for the standard head (Z900L) and 23W on the miniature head (Z800L). The solid titanium body is ergo­nomic and includes NSK’s new DURAGRIP coating, which makes the surface easy to hold even when wet. A quattro (4-port) water spray and 2.5-year warranty complete the offering. Multiple back-end types are available to fit most competitive couplers. For more information, call (888) 675-1675 or visit


Gemini high-speed handpieces allow users to select the exact same design and performance features of their favorite brands at half the price of the originals. The Gemini handpieces fit the coupling systems of the originals and offer complete interchangeability with the original handpieces, turbines, and component parts. They offer the same fiber optics, ergonomic design, and performance specifications as the original brands that they replace and come with a one-year warranty. For more information, call (800) 210-8945 or visit


Because the Synea LED+ is more than 25% lighter than some of the profession’s next best, you’ll feel the difference right away. By combining the most advanced LED and refined engineering for new handheld comfort, it gives you more than outstanding vision, illumination, and maneuverability. It is quiet, lightweight, and easy to use. Its complete air-driven technology is designed to save time, reduce eyestrain, and diminish hand fatigue. For more information, call (800) 547-1883 or visit

Sirona Dental Systems

Now with ceramic ball bearings, the T2 and T3 high-speed attachments offer the best in quality, choice, and durability. The T2 line offers 3 different head sizes—mini, racer, and CONTROL all with available LED illumination. The T3 is available with both mini and Racer heads and is nonfiber optic. The entire Sirona handpiece line carries one of the profession’s best warranties, with up to 5 years available. For more information, call (800) 659-5977 or visit





MTI Dental

LYNX low-speed motors provide reliable quality that you can depend on. For 27 years, MTI has focused on exceptional value. Always manufactured in the United States, the durability and performance of these products will prove impressive. The TorqueMaster handpieces are available in 5,000 and 20,000 rpm and offer excellent power and high torque. For more information, call (800) 367-9290 or visit

Ultradent Products

The UltraPro Tx hygiene handpiece is constructed from lightweight, anod­ized, aircraft-caliber aluminum. The soft-start motor prevents splatter, while high torque offers excellent efficiency on tough stains. This balanced, low-maintenance, friction-grip handpiece offers smooth, vibration-free operation. The 5:1 reduction motor has a working output of 3,000 to 3,500 rpm at variable working pressures of 35 to 45 psi. For more information, call (800) 552-5512 or visit



DENTSPLY Professional

The MIDWEST STYLUS ATC handpiece features Speed-Sensing Intelligence and Superior Turbine Suspension, which solve 2 long-standing challenges facing dentists: (1) load-based variations in speed that can cause stalling and (2) bur deflection and chattering that occur at high speeds and can affect accuracy and precision. Speed-Sensing Intelligence automatically optimizes the delivery of power. For more information, call (800) 989-8825 or visit

KaVo Dental

The new MASTERtorque handpiece has unique Direct Stop Technology for improved bur control and reduced drawback of contamination. It now comes with even more power and the same low noise level for the highest treatment quality and patient comfort. It has 23W of power and is still the quietest KaVo handpiece at 57 dB—quieter than the conversations you have with your patients. It has a computer-balanced turbine and a carbide-lined chuck for more concentric cutting and smoother, more precise preps. For more information, call (888) 275-5286 or visit

DentalEZ Group

As the No. 1-selling fiber-optic handpiece on the market (based on Stra­tegic Data Market­ing), each handpiece in the StarDental 430 Series high-speed handpiece line remains a classic fa­vorite among dental pro­fessionals. Made with StarDental ceramic ball bearing turbines, the full family of the 430 Series includes (1) the 430 SWL, featuring solid glass rod fiber optics, (2) the 430 K, (3) the 430 SW, (4) the 430 Satin, and (5) the new 430-45 (LubeFree only). Each is available in lubricated or StarDental’s traditional LubeFree models. For more information, call (866) DTE-INFO or visit


SciCan has joined forces with some of the best dental handpiece engineers to develop a range of handpieces that use the finest quality components for optimal performance. Users will experience noticeably better handling with an extreme­ly quiet turbine and will feel the pow­er of 20W with increased lateral cutting torque. The STATIS line of handpieces incorporates one of the smallest head sizes available, technologically advanced ceramic bearing design, and a 2-year warranty. For more information, call (800) 572-1211 or visit





Handpiece Solutions

With a noise level of less than 55 dB for large head and less than 57 dB for the smaller head, this newest line of MK-dent German handpieces is one of the quietest on the market. The MK-dent Prime Line handpiece has an almost perfect concentric turbine with a durable carbide insert spindle and ceramic bearings. It comes with or without a 40,000-lux glass optic. You have a choice of small or large head and a 3- or 4-hole water spray system. For more information, call (888) 488-3885 or visit

Lares Research

The Ultralite offers (1) outstanding cutting power and quality of cut, (2) multiflex compatible swivel and quick disconnect, (3) twin-beam, shadow-free optics, and (4) push-button bur changing. The 557 head offers superior accessibility and visibility with one of the smallest heads in the profession. The Ultralite is also available with the 757 head, which provides multiport water spray and 20W of power. There is a one-year bumper-to-bumper warranty and 30-day-money-back guarantee. For more information, call (888) 333-8440 or visit

Danville Materials

The C-Saw system with GP Separa­tor is ideal for interproximal reduction. In ad­dition, natural contours are easily recreated. It provides rapid, straight, safe proximal re­duction. The full system in­cludes an air-driven, high-torque, reciprocating handpiece; diamond blades; diamond strips in a C-Saw frame; and a unique GPS Separator (a proximal spreading clamp that allows easy blade insertion and also protects the gingiva and tongue). Optional heads allow use as a high-speed or as a high-torque slow-speed. For more information, call (800) 827-7940.



Kinetic Instruments

Viper 2 is a completely redesigned model of the popular Viper 360 handpiece that has been a best seller for more than 30 years. The new design incorporates all- stainless steel construction, triple-port water spray, cellular fiber optics, open turbine for serviceability, and the ever-popular, patented Push-Lok chuck mechanism. There was a recent addition of variable LED illumination. For more information, call (800) 233-2346, visit, or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Dental Savings Club

This handpiece costs significantly less than an overhaul of most brands and is manufactured in the United States. Wolf handpieces are ergonomically balanced for ease of use. They are compatible with major brand couplers, and they are available in fiber optic, swivel, and a variety of port configurations. For more information, call (888) 768-1230 or visit

J. Morita USA

The TwinPower Turbine product line features a unique, double-impeller design, which delivers high torque and up to 22W of power. Head types include UltraM and UltraE (mini series), standard, and 45°. With the CP4 LED coupler, the TwinPower Turbine offers bright, natural lighting with a wide field of illumination. Other handpiece features include ceramic bearings, rapid braking, and direct connection to popular coupling systems. For more information, call (888) JMORITA (566-7482) or visit