Catapult Education members evaluate this innovative ‘3-in-1’ handpiece system.
As dentistry continues to immerse itself in new technologies, Catapult Education members were asked to evaluate the new compact NLZ electric micromotor handpiece system from NSK Dental. Yes, electrics are in full growth mode in our operatories, so the question to our group was: does this raise the bar in electrics? The answer among our reviewers was absolutely.
To start, we all love the quieter electrics for sure, and the continued trend is even less noise. Ninety percent of the evaluators noted that the NSK handpiece was quieter than other handpieces and I found this to be a much quieter than any other system I’ve used. When I connected a different manufacturer’s handpiece (which the unit’s design accommodates), it was considerably louder than the NSK handpiece. Patients hate the sound of the drill and a less noisy handpiece should make “drilling” a far less negative experience. Considering that hearing loss among dentists has been found to be an ongoing problem, why bother with ear plugs when using air turbine handpieces?
The next item we evaluated was the compact size of the NSK NLZ control unit and yes, it is that small! The group loved the size and in dentistry, smaller is better. The majority of us mounted the unit beneath the bracket table and the installation was extremely easy as the control pad is separate from the main unit. The NLZ touchscreen control panel was easy and intuitive to use.
Next, let’s talk about flexibility within the system. With NLZ, the system takes electrics to the next level because in this unit one has the ability to have a high-speed electric option for doing preparations, slow speed for all its uses, and then by just pressing a button, one can switch to a reciprocative movement for a wide range of endodontic procedures if desired. With so many endodontic systems moving to a reciprocative movement, we thought this was a wonderful feature. Ultimately it puts three of dentistry’s most used preparation technologies in one place - all run by one control pad.
The NLZ is a new micromotor system that makes this unique technology possible. This results in a more powerful rotation, which is necessary when working with today’s restorative materials such as e.max and zirconia. Rather than pushing an air-driven bur through such materials, electrics, with their high torque, cut through these materials meticulously with so much less effort. I found this system to have even more torque than other electrics. One great advantage of electrics is that they don’t work via turbines and as a result, these harder materials that take their toll on air-driven turbines are a nonissue with electrics. Add in the two-year bumper-to-bumper warranty and enough is said on this issue.
I remember when I got my first fiber optic handpiece and though I was elated with the light, I wanted more illumination (don’t we all?). The fiber optic light is extremely bright - in fact, the brightest I have evaluated - and makes it easier when working in the posterior areas of the mouth. You can never have enough light! I think that makes a huge difference in delivery of care.
Lastly, a few added findings within this new electric handpiece. The NLZ has a “contra angle checking function” that eliminates the “hot handpiece.” It was developed to prevent burns via the head of the handpiece overheating. The operator is usually unaware that this occurring. This can be caused by deterioration of the gears and/or improper maintenance. If the NLZ handpiece is overheating during operation, the rotor automatically slows down or shuts off. I have seen this happen twice thus far and I find this function a wonderful safety feature. The handpiece is so “smart’ because it can recalibrate and correct the torque during its use.
Every reviewer in this evaluation was an electric user and overwhelmingly the group loved this handpiece. One evaluator commented that the NLZ handpiece had become their go-to handpiece, and another said, “This is the best electric handpiece I have ever used!” All reviewers felt overwhelmingly confident in using the NLZ in their office and almost everyone stated they would continue to use it. For these reasons, the NLZ electric micromotor handpiece system receives the Catapult Vote of Confidence.