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In the spirit of our motto ‘United we inspire each other’, we share our industry expertise in a free range of webinars. Renowned experts give you an insight into selected application and research areas. Valuable insider tips and live demos of the very latest technologies are also included.
W&H AIMS conveys science-based and long-standing, profound know-how which helps to form a deeper understanding of how infection risks arise and why each step of the reprocessing process as well as personal protective equipment are key to breaking the chain of infection. It is a virtual step-by-step guide through the hygiene workflow and answers all questions before, during and after the reprocessing process, as well as on personal safety in the dental practice.
Furthermore, W&H AIMS demonstrates ways to make the whole reprocessing process more efficient, effective and adapted to everyday conditions – always with an eye to breaking the chain of infection!
Being aware of the current covid-19 situation, we draw attention again to the importance of the hygiene workflow. Germs can also be transmitted through contaminated dental instruments. For 130 years, W&H has lived by the core principle "People have Priority". Rest assured your health, the well-being of patients and of course your business are an important motivating factor for us.
We hope that the video by Christian Lechner helps answer your questions: "How do I ensure safety in my practice?"
Christian Lechner is responsible for the application segment of reprocessing and infection control at W&H. We are daily receiving inquiries from dentists all over the world, on how to protect themselves, their staff and their patients from infections, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
1. What is a proper disinfectant?
It is key, when choosing a ready to use disinfectant, to know the microbiological efficacy in combination with the contact time. Please read the manufacturers' instructions for use carefully along with local standard operating procedure guidelines. We recognize that there is a lot of information available from many organisations and suggest that you update yourself on their guidance. This includes information from the: BDA, FGDP, Chief Dental Officer for England.
2. How to clean and reprocess your instruments properly?
Sterilization, hygiene and maintenance are increasingly important in the dental practice!
W&H offers a complete and flexible workflow solution for your instruments. Hygiene guidelines and recommendations – we would like to give a best practice example
P.S. W&H offers a wide range of accessories for optimization of the sterilization process making it easy, efficient and time saving.
3. What are the advantages of a B-class vacuum sterilizer?
Did you know, that you can save valuable time by using our B-class sterilizers with eco-dry technology? Find out more about the new LISA.
4. Why should you use a thermal washer disinfector in your dental practice? The new Teon is a highly efficient thermal washer disinfector. Thanks to its dedicated programs it offers the best cleaning and disinfection for your dental practice. Teon improves your decontamination process, reduces the reprocessing time and increases the protection against cross contamination.
Tobias Schwarz is responsible for the product portfolio restorative dentistry at W&H. Since there is more common awareness about the role of aerosols in infection transmission we are receiving many questions. Whats the right highspeed handpiece to be used to reduce the formation of aerosols? And many more...
Do air turbine handpieces produce more aerosol than electric highspeed handpieces?
The amount of water spray, coming from both kind of handpieces, is basically the same. The essential difference is the bur speed, that would have different acceleration effects on the water drops once they hit the bur as well as different air velocity at the area around the bur. Turbine handpieces are running approximately 400.000 rpm. Electric highspeed handpieces are operated at 200.000 rpm, so half the speed as turbines. As a matter of fact, the intensity how particles are distributed is less. This has a beneficial effect on limiting the exposure of water spray generated aerosol into the dental operatory environment. Additional air, leaking at the turbines head – caused by the drive air to run the turbine - increases the distribution radius of floating particles around the air turbine handpieces head. This effect is significantly less with electric highspeed handpieces as well. Nevertheless, W&H Turbine handpieces are known to have noticeable less air leakage at the turbine head then the average product on the market.
What’s the purpose of the water spray at dental highspeed handpieces?
Highspeed preparation procedures require proper cooling at the contact area between the rotating instrument and the tooth. Especially the heat, generated during gross reduction of tooth structure, would cause significant thermal damage to vital teeth.
That’s why dental highspeed handpieces are equipped with an ideally multi-directional water spray system with 3, 4 or 5 ports directed to the burs tip. Positive side effect is, that the cutting ability of rotating instruments is supported as the water spray does cleans out debris at the cutting part of the bur.
How does the water spray affect the formation of potentially harmful aerosol?
The water spray itself, as it comes from the handpiece, is not a risk at all for infections if the water quality is ensured with the dental delivery system. Only, when the water drop got contact with the patient, it could have absorbed potentially germs which then subsequently rebounds from any surface within the oral cavity and spreads as infectious aerosol.
Why can’t I just turn off the air used for the spray to reduce the formation of aerosol?
A water jet alone would not have enough cooling efficiency for highspeed preparations. That’s why compressed air is added to create the spray. Due to the higher moistening capabilities of this small waterdrops, a much better cooling is ensured – in favour to the vitality of the patient’s teeth!
What is the right way to deal with aerosol and bacteria?
That´s the key question when it comes to safety in the dental practice. But what is fact and what is fiction? Product manager Judith Berg has prepared some answers.
What is aerosol?
Aerosol is a mixture of air, water and solid particles.
Aerosol consists of small particles called droplet nuclei (1–5 μm) or droplets (5-50 μm) (1).
Aerosols could stay up to 30 minutes after treatment in the air, it could be spread several meters while treatment (1)
The most contamination you will find around a radius of 0.3 m to 1.5 m of the treatment area. (2).
How is aerosol created?
Physically, most aerosols in dental practice are created by atomization.
There are two sources of contaminated aerosol:
Rotating and oscillating handpieces / equipment (3,4)
By supplying energy through rotating handpieces or oscillating handpieces to liquids (saliva, cooling spray, cooling water) is atomized = aerosols.
However, with appropriate equipment reprocessing, coolant supply decontamination and water line decontamination - contamination of this aerosol can be avoided.
Aerosol rebound occurs after the contact on the tooth or the soft tissue from the oral cavity. The aerosol now contains germs, saliva and possibly blood (6) from the patient.
In this case the bacterial and viral load - which the patient carries inside his mouth - is dispersed and distributed everywhere the aerosol spreads.
What can I do to reduce the bacterial load of the patient?
Recently made experiences from China facing the SARS CoV2 have shown the effectiveness in dental practice when pre-procedural mouth rinse was performed: both 0.2% PVP-I solution as well as 1% H2O2 (= hydrogen peroxide) solutions strongly reduce or kill the number of germs – including the SARS CoV2. Numerous studies have proven the effectiveness of PVP-I (= povidone-iodine) in reducing germs. (7). In this study it was shown that CHX with the concentration of 0.2% was less effective.
Therefore, with pre-procedural mouth rinse using e.g. PVP-I, H2O2 being clinically proven as an effective way to reduce the bacterial load and viral contamination of aerosol (8) – it also reduces the negative impact of “aerosol being inevitable during dental treatment”. Never to neglect the general necessary and recommended personal protective safety measures of course.
How can I protect my team and patients from aerosol?
You should not rely on one single but a multi-layer strategy. Following recommendation to protect dental personnel and patient. Professional handling of aerosol reduces the risk to the lowest possible level! Please respect your national recommendations.
Infection prevention control in dentistry:
desinfection of surfaces, reprocessing of dental equipment (9,10)
PPE (personal protective equipment): masks, googles, gloves, scrubs, vaccination
effectiveness of mouth rinsing
anti-suck-back capabilities of equipment
high volume suction
dental unit water lines decontamination
(1) Veena, H. R., et al. (2015). "Dissemination of aerosol and splatter during ultrasonic scaling: a pilot study." J Infect Public Health 8(3): 260-265.
(2) Bennett, A. M., et al. (2000). "Microbial aerosols in general dental practice." Br Dent J 189(12): 664-667.
(3 )Graetz, C., et al. (2014). "Spatter contamination in dental practices--how can it be prevented?" Rev Med Chir Soc Med Nat Iasi 118(4): 1122-1134.
(4) Toroglu, M. S., et al. (2001). "Evaluation of aerosol contamination during debonding procedures." Angle Orthod 71(4): 299-306.
(5) Reitemeier B, Jatzwauk L, Jesinghaus S, Reitemeier C, Neumann K. Effektive Reduktion des Spraynebel-Rückpralls - Möglichkeiten und Grenzen. ZMK 2010:662-673.
(6) Shihama, K., et al. (2009). "Evidence of aerosolised floating blood mist during oral surgery." J Hosp Infect 71(4): 359-364
(7) Peng, X., et al. (2020). "Transmission routes of 2019-nCoV and controls in dental practice." Int J Oral Sci 12(1): 9.
(8) Eggers M, Koburger-Janssen T, Eickmann M, Zorn J. In Vitro Bactericidal and Virucidal Efficacy of Povidone-Iodine Gargle/Mouthwash Against Respiratory and Oral Tract Pathogens. Infect Dis Ther. 2018;7(2):249‐259.
(9) Bracher, L., et al. (2019). "Surface microbial contamination in a dental department. A 10-year retrospective analysis." Swiss Dent J 129(1): 14-21.
(10) Zemouri, C., et al. (2017). "A scoping review on bio-aerosols in healthcare and the dental environment." PLoS One 12(5): e0178007.
An urgent warning must be issued against the use of counterfeit medical products. The so-called fakes lack essential product details, quality features and legally required test marks and approvals.
Treatments therefore represent a health and legal risk for both the patient and practitioner. In addition, the cheap purchases are also an economic risk in the long term. The service life and functionality of fake products are significantly limited compared to the original, repairs and additional services are usually not possible.
Whether straight and contra-angle handpieces, couplings or turbines – when in daily use, transmission instruments can suddenly fail. If you want to be on the safe side and value the long service life of your handpieces, sending them in for an annual service will protect your investment long term. Regardless of this, there are various signs that indicate a need for maintenance or repair. Here are some examples of how you can determine that your transmission instrument requires maintenance:
• Unusually high temperature
• Strong vibrations
• Increased volume
• Lower power/speed
• Reduced bur holding force
• Decreasing light intensity/light fluctuations
• Impairment of spray intensity/spray fluctuations
• Coolant failure or leakage
If you notice one or more of the above-mentioned operating malfunctions, contact an authorised "W&H service partner".
Safety technical checks for medical devices
To ensure safety of users, patients and third parties, medical electrical devices must be checked regularly. For this reason, the Medical Devices Act provides safety checks. During the check, it is determined whether a device is functional, electrically safe and in proper condition at the time of inspection. The safety check must be carried out every three years or according to the manufacturer's instructions. For W&H devices such as Implantmed or Piezomed, the safety check is mandatory every three years. National regulations can include exceptions for shorter inspection periods. In Germany, for example, the safety check has to be carried out every two years.
The safety check may only be carried out by qualified companies and institutions. These companies confirm the proper functioning of the devices and thus ensure the safety of patients, users and third parties.
The safety check is subject to all W&H stand-alone devices such as Implantmed, Elcomed, Piezomed, Pyon, Tigon/Tigon+ or Proxeo Ultra.
After 35 seconds, our Assistina 301 plus leaves a perfectly maintained transmission instrument. The maintenance process starts automatically at the touch of a button. The automatic rotational lubrication ensures optimum distribution of the oil and that an even film of lubricant is created. Dirt particles are loosened and removed. The lifespan of the straight- and contra angle handpieces and turbines is significantly increased whilst service costs are reduced.
But our Assistina 301 plus also needs a little care. Our tip: Check the functionality of your device once a week: the liquid level, the position and condition of the O-rings, the filter, and the tightness of the connections.
What are maintenance kits? And why are they so smart?
Every product, whether in the private or professional field, is exposed to a certain amount of wear over time. This wear could only be visually disturbing or lead to a real defect. Maintenance kits can help, since they contain exactly the spare parts that need to be replaced – no more and no less!
Maintenance kits are designed either for end users or for service partners and are tailored to a defined product. A popular example is our maintenance kits for W&H sterilizers, which are normally used after 800 or 4,000 sterilization cycles for the recommended service.
• Service after 800 cycles: Do it yourself! The spare parts included in the maintenance kit can be replaced by the end user. The costs can be calculated exactly. The original spare parts contribute to the long service life of the sterilizer. • Service after 4,000 cycles: The service after 4,000 cycles can only be carried out by an authorised service technician or a specialist workshop. The device must be opened and the parts included in the maintenance kit must be replaced. The costs for this can also be calculated exactly.
Maintenance kits thus offer absolute cost transparency. The advantage over purchasing individual spare parts is obvious. For information on all available maintenance kits, please contact your "W&H service partner".
Perfect cleaning – without tools
Surgical interventions are a great challenge. In order to meet the high hygiene requirements, the W&H surgical straight and contra-angle handpieces of the S and WS series can be disassembled quickly and easily. Total simple – without tools. This not only facilitates thorough cleaning, but also extends the service life of your instruments. The surgical straight and contra-angle handpieces can then be reassembled just as quickly and easily.
How to properly disassemble and reassemble our surgical contra-angle handpiece WS-75 is shown in this "video".
In addition to the "W&H service partner", you also have the opportunity to maintain your Alegra turbines and contra-angle handpieces yourself and to carry out minor repairs quickly and professionally on site. Regular on-site maintenance extends the service life of your turbines and contra-angle handpieces and reduces downtimes.
How do I do a DIY service on my Alegra instrument?
How do I know which spare part needs to be replaced?
Rotor: If you observe excessive noise and vibration at the head of the turbine, the bearings are most likely damaged; if you detect that the bur does not fully engage and slip out, the chucking system is most likely worn out.
Coupling seal: If you notice air or water leakages between the turbine and coupling, please check the rubber seals and replace them if necessary.
Water filter/nozzle cleaner: If you notice a very poor spray quality due to hard water, the filter of the resuction system should be replaced; when replacing the filter, please clean the spray nozzles with the compatible nozzle cleaner.
Push button: If you need excessive force to operate the chucking mechanism, the push button may also be replaced; if the push button gets stuck in-position, it can be assumed that the outer ring is deformed and the head heats up due to the continuous friction.
Generator/O-rings: If you observe excessive noise and vibration or intermittent resp. poor light quality, the generator may not work properly; if you notice air or water leakages between turbine and coupling, please replace the O-rings on the coupling.
Contra-angle head: If you observe excessive noise and vibration on the head of the instrument as well as heating and/or an additional weakness of the chucking system (bur comes out), and/or stuck push button, replace the head and neck piece completely – please use the tool kit required for replacement.
Tools: For your own safety and the safety of your patients, please always order the compatible tools to carry out the repair in good quality.
Original Spare parts: The medical device loses its CE conformity if repairs are carried out with a non-original spare part. The use of non-original spare parts does not meet the high W&H quality standards. Safe use and a long product life can no longer be guaranteed.
Find out more about the maintenance of your W&H products in our videos and tutorials. We’ll show you how to replace the rotor in Alegra turbine handpieces. How to replace the Lisa door seal. How to clean and replace the Tigon + bulb. Watch our examples and find out more on our "Video Channel".
United under the term Built-in Solutions, W&H offers a range of drive solutions that can be integrated in dental units. This makes it possible to equip your treatment units with new functionalities and innovative drives, thereby customizing them to suit your personal requirements.
ioDent® – Welcome to the world of digital dentistry
The Internet of Things (IoT) has now become reality in dental practices, with W&H offering intelligent and networked product solutions in dentistry under the new digital brand ioDent® – W&H Smart Dental Solutions. In future, the cloudbased system will communicate with the connected devices via the ioDent® Gateway mini. Data exchange is secure and easy!
Some things do belong together: just as Yin needs the Yang, implantology needs periodontology. W&H presents “No Implantology without Periodontology”, NIWOP for short, a systematic and evidence-based workflow for a sound and healthy tissue situation around the implant.