A Dental Handpiece That Switches Things Up to Reduce Aerosols

Dental Products Report, Dental Products Report March 2021, Volume 55, Issue 3

NSK America’s Switch Valve on the Z95L handpiece turns off the coolant air and allows contra-angle handpieces to dramatically reduce water aerosols.

When NSK updated its Ti-Max Z95L handpiece in 2020 to include a spray switch that lets clinicians instantly switch between water spray or water jet functions, the dental manufacturer offered the first 2-way patented spray technology designed to offer maximum protection while contributing to cooling. The development also provided a benefit that has become very desirable during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic—a method to reduce aerosols and splatter during certain dental procedures.

When the switch valve became available, Ron Kaminer, DDS, was quick to add the technology to his 2 Long Island, New York, practices.

“I learned of the Z95L when it was launched last year during the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on potential aerosol data in dental offices, this was an easy decision to incorporate into our practice,” he says.

The addition of the switch valve on the Z95L handpiece, which turns off the coolant air, allows contra-angle handpieces to reportedly reduce water aerosols by as much as 50%. The water jet (water only) is an alternative cooling function for the water spray during procedures. The water spray (water and air) can be activated without restriction when needed by twisting the switch.

Dr Kaminer likes the speed and ease with which the handpiece switches. “The beauty of this handpiece is that you can quickly switch between water jet and water mist,” he says. “The water jet quickly cools an area while at the same time reducing aerosol and splatter. By cutting down the air coming out of the handpiece, splatter is reduced, and this could be essential in procedures such as surgical extractions or apicoectomies and more.”

NSK instruments are designed with proprietary DualDefense infection prevention, yet another infection control benefit of using the Z95L. The Clean Head System prevents suck-back into the head and the exhaust line and the Anti-Retraction Valve prevents contamination of the water supply.

Additionally, the Ti-Max Z95L features a unique head cap design that helps limit heat generation during treatment. Its ceramic bearings are 25% harder than conventional steel bearings but are only half the weight. This allows the handpiece to reduce frictional wear between the ball bearings and the bearing retainer. Anything that helps reduce aerosols in the dental operatory is going to be on clinicians’ radars during a pandemic.

“This product has given me the flexibility to cut down aerosol, which in turn makes a safer environment for myself, my staff, and my patients,” says Dr Kaminer, who suggests colleagues consider adding the Ti-Max Z95L handpiece with switch valve to their armamentarium. “This product is a great addition to any practice but is a must for anyone doing a lot of surgery where contaminated aerosol could be present.”

Another benefit is access. The handpiece is indicated for any use but its slimmer body and neck are ideal for easier access to hard-to-reach areas without obstructing the view.