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Air compressors in the dental industry

 
You know the value of air compressors to your dental practice. They power such a wide array of handpieces that it’s hard to imagine life without them, but if you’re looking at replacing your compressed air system – or thinking of switching to air power for the first time, there are a few things you need to consider.

Any old air compressor won’t do

Air compressors produce moisture as a natural by-product of squeezing all those air molecules together. Given that your business is built on hygiene, in-system water contamination is an absolute no-no. That’s why dental air compressors lower the ‘dew point’ of the compressed air, ensuring more moisture can be captured and removed by the inline filtration system.

Oil free is an essential

Another by-product of many air compressors is oil vapour. A little oil floating around the system matters little if you’re using your compressed air to inflate car tyres or power a workshop drill, but it’s a serious issue in dentistry.

That’s why the Dental Compressor Regulations require dental surgeries to only use “compressed air… generated by an oil free compressor with an integral dryer, internally coated air receiver and a breathing air and bacterial filter downstream of the compressor.”

   >  We’re trialling a new way of recycling oil that cuts waste and increases space.

The compressor’s not the only part that counts

A steady, reliable flow of air is essential for any dental tool, but it’s not just the air compressor that’s responsible for delivering that steady flow. Pipework, connectors, filters and the handpieces you use can all influence the consistency of the air flow.

That’s one reason why the regulations also require your pipework system to be free from leaks, located away from any potential damage, and with appropriate isolation valves.

Right size?

We don’t simply mean does your air compressor deliver the reliable air power you need now. What about the future? If you don’t want to be upgrading your air compressor every time you add new tools, it’s important to build some flexibility into your compressed air system. That means choosing not only the right air compressor, but the right receiver tank too.

Remember, an overworked system may produce a less reliable flow of air and could produce more moisture, compromising patient safety. For help in choosing the right compressed air system for your dental surgery, talk to us.

Ready to replace?

Like any component, air compressors don’t last forever (although regular servicing and maintenance can extend their life hugely). When an air compressor or its filters start to show their age, you may notice air pressure drop or become inconsistent. Over time, contaminants may begin to escape the filters and you should check for this regularly. Hold a mirror up to any air powered handpiece and switch it on. If any moisture, dirt or debris appears on the mirror surface, call a compressed air engineer.

Want help or advice about the compressed air system used in your dental surgery? Call 0114 243 2347 or contact us.

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