Now this is just sad. It seems as though a perfect storm of poorly-maintained handpieces, numb lips, and inattentive dentists has come together in a flurry of reports that patients are getting burned at the dental office.
Really burned, not like they’re getting ripped off burned. First, second, and third degree burns. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is so concerned, they’ve even created a letter for you to send to your handpiece manufacturer, since they’re not naming names as to whose products are heating up the most.
Most of the manufacturers already received this letter last month in response to the FDA’s new safety alert. In the meantime, they are recommending that clinicians:
- Are vigilant about maintaining electric dental handpieces and electric oral bone-cutting handpieces according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Verify with the manufacturer the appropriate routine service interval for your dental practice, based on the actual use of your electric dental handpieces or electric intraoral bone-cutting handpieces.
- Train personnel to properly clean and maintain the electric dental handpieces or electric intraoral bone-cutting handpieces.
- Develop a method for tracking maintenance and routine service for each dental handpiece or electric intraoral bone-cutting handpiece.
- Examine the electric dental handpiece attachments and electric intraoral bone-cutting handpiece attachments prior to use. Do not use worn drills or burs.
- Do not use poorly maintained electric dental handpieces or electric intraoral bone-cutting handpieces.
- Report overheating to the manufacturer.