"These handpieces just keep on cutting."

March 21, 2012

Issue 6

My staff and I love the Midwest Tradition handpiece. How much you ask? Well, we have 13  of them in the office. We use the latch style with fiber optic lighting. The handpiece’s small head makes visibility and access very easy in the back areas of the mouth. It also is perfect for the limited space in pedo patients.

My staff and I love the Midwest Tradition handpiece. How much you ask? Well, we have 13  of them in the office. We use the latch style with fiber optic lighting. The handpiece’s small head makes visibility and access very easy in the back areas of the mouth. It also is perfect for the limited space in pedo patients.

The July issue of Clinicians Report compared a turbine upgrade to several older model handpieces, including the Midwest Tradition. Considering that the Tradition is a 25-year-old design, the results were impressive for the Tradition. Its cutting efficiency was actually superior to the upgraded turbine (11.5% better). The Tradition’s durability was better and costs significantly less. After reading this report, it is apparent that the Tradition is a superior performing handpiece, reliable and cost effective.

Why haven’t you made the switch to an electric handpiece?

I have considered electric handpieces, but have read about incidents where electric handpieces have caused burns in patients’ mouths.  Apparently, the electric handpieces have to be sent away for regular maintenance. If they’re not properly maintained, they can overheat. My air-driven handpiece doesn’t overheat and burn tissue. When my Tradition doesn’t work, I just insert a new turbine and two rubber rings. With proper lubrication and cleaning, the turbines with metal bearings can last one to two years.

What advantages does this handpiece have over its competitors?

Recently, I have experimented with the “maintenance free” ceramic bearing turbines. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a brand that gives me the longevity that I get with the Midwest metal bearing turbines. After returning several ceramic bearing turbines that failed under warranty, I got a funny call from one of the repair people. I was asked how I maintain the handpieces. I replied that these are “maintenance free” turbines and need no work. I was then told I needed to lubricate the ceramic bearing turbines.

Years ago, I purchased a very small head handpiece for the difficult to reach areas. The problem was the handpiece didn’t cut tooth well. When I tried the Tradition handpiece, I found I didn’t have to sacrifice cutting torque for the small head size. I can cut out metal posts, remove crowns and sever bridges.

The fiber optics are very durable. We autoclave all of our handpieces, and the fiber optics last for years. When we finally have to send in for a new fiber optic bundle, we get back what seems to be a new handpiece with a different serial number.

Why should other dentists try this handpiece?

In these days of increased cost consciousness, the Tradition handpiece is a bargain. We usually buy handpieces when Midwest offers a “buy 3 and get 1 free” sale and with minimal maintenance, these handpieces just keep on cutting.  It is no surprise that since this model was introduced in 1985, Midwest has sold almost a half-million of them. I wouldn’t be surprised if  90% of them are still running.