Straight Handpiece Explained

May 2010
Dr Gerhard Steenkamp

You start working in a new practice and are very happy to learn that the practice is well equipped to do dentistry work. While going through all the dental equipment available in this practise, you see the following handpiece:

Dental Column May 2010 Handpiece Explained (1)

a What kind of handpiece is this?
b How does this handpiece function?
c What are the applications for this handpiece?


a This is a straight handpiece

b A straight handpiece needs to be connected to an airmotor

Dental Column May 2010 Handpiece Explained 2

in order to make it work. They are usually 1:1 handpieces, meaning that for every one turn the airmotor gives, the bur in this handpiece will rotate once.

 Dental Column May 2010 Handpiece Explained 3

c Straight handpieces are most often used to cut bone with. As they run on an airmotor they have low revolutions (about 20 000 revolutions per minute) but high torque. It is therefore possible to do alveolotomies with them as they and their burs are autoclavable. Straight handpieces does however not have a built in fluid port and therefore should you want to use it for alveolotomies/osteotomies and external fluid source should be connected. Straight handpieces, combined with a soft tissue guard are used to trim rodent/rabbits cheek teeth.

Dental Column May 2010 Handpiece Explained 4

The burs used in straight handpieces have a longer shank (60 mm) than any of the other dental burs. These longer burs comes as cutting burs or round burs and can be made from tungsten carbide or have diamond dust on them.


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