by Dr Ben Schottlander, Coral Dental, Maleny, QLD
This high-speed surgical handpiece has a head angled at 45 degrees. I’ve been using it for about two and a half years, and it’s a favourite of mine when dealing with difficult extractions.
What’s good about it
When cutting up a tooth during an extraction, a straight, slow-speed handpiece was the traditional instrument to use. It was fitted with a big, cumbersome bur and could be difficult to hold at the correct angle in the mouth. They vibrated so much that patients invariably hated them.
This high-speed handpiece is hooked up to the surgical motor and will irrigate with saline while in use. As there is no air in the line, there is no need to worry about surgical emphysema and associated complications. This handpiece has incredible torque and speed, and will section a tooth very quickly. The angled head also gives much better access. There is very little vibration so patients are much happier when I’m using it.
It is fitted with small tapered burs that can trench around a tooth with minimal bone loss. If I’m planning to put in an implant later, it’s important to preserve as much bone as possible. This handpiece splits the tooth cleanly with minimal destruction to the surrounding tissue and lets me work very quickly.
What’s not so good
As it only takes short burs, there are certain situations where it just won’t reach where I want it to go. The longer, structured burs that can be fitted to straight handpieces are not suitable for use with the WS-91. This surgical unit must be connected to a suitable flow of saline as copious irrigation is essential to avoid overheating bone.