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Raporty i Opracowania

Innovation and problem-solving with W&H's Synea Power Edition

The concept of using rotary tools to cut hard materials, such as granite, is at least 6,000 years old. As early as 25,000 BCE, our ancestors were using hand-held lithic borers to cut through shells without breaking them. These tools were generally made of flint, and pressed against the object to be perforated and then rotated back and forth at low speed and relatively high torque. Powerful modern handpieces have elevated the principle of variable speed and high torque to enable precise cuts into much harder materials like zirconia.

Restorative material science is developing quickly, driving innovation in the development of tools. Durable materials like zirconia increasingly have the potential to emulate the aesthetic and function of real teeth. With these robust materials has come a need for advancements in the technology around rotary cutting, as destructive disassembly remains the safest and least traumatic option for removing a failed crown.

Synea Power Edition handpiece application: Cuttig and cooling.
The Synea Power Edition provides an impressive cooling and cutting level.

The use of zirconia in restorative dentistry

Zirconia, ZrO2 zirconium dioxide, has become a popular material in restorative dentistry due to its biocompatibility, high fracture toughness and radiopacity. Dental zirconia is more commonly a modified yttria (Y2O3) tetragonal zirconia polycrystal (Y-TZP), because it has greater mechanical properties and better tear resistance than other ceramics. Various formulas are currently in development to continue to improve on aesthetics as well as durability.

Despite the benefits of zirconia, restoration failure due to crown fracture remains a possibility. In a recent survey, the difficulty associated with its removal or replacement was reported by practitioners to be one of the main disadvantages of using zirconia as a prosthetic material.

Material science is a crucial aspect of drilling science, and different materials are described in terms of hardness using the Mohs Hardness Scale. Zirconia is 8.8; around the same hardness as tungsten carbide, which is a commonly used material in burs. Diamond ranks at 10 on the Mohs Scale, and super-coarse diamond burs have been found to be more effective at cutting zirconia than others, although the greater force required to cut zirconia still results in frequent bur wear.

Synea Power Edition – Application Video

Friction and Heat

Balancing the relationship between torque and speed, while managing the effects of friction, is an enormous challenge when cutting very hard materials. Thermal damage to patients is an increased risk when working intraorally, due to the very high temperatures generated in the process.

The bur in a modern handpiece can rotate at speeds of 200,000–400,000 rpm, and the associated friction can heat the target material to 240°C before cooling. In tests, an intrapulpal temperature increase of 5.5℃ for 10 seconds was shown to cause irreversible damage to pulp tissues. To mitigate against thermal damage to patients, high-speed handpieces have incorporated a function to spray cooled water, usually so that water flows through the tool and is sprayed onto the surface through holes in the head during cutting.

Synea Power Edition handpiece application: Removal of high-strength materials.
The Synea Power Edition is extra strong and provides more torque and a better removal rate.

The heat generated within the handpiece itself is higher when cutting hard material, this can cause the water to heat up, which can potentially hurt the patient and/or handpiece operator, so techniques to reduce overheating and improve cooling have had to be innovative. The faster the coolant flow rate, the more effectively it will maintain a lower temperature. The normal spray rate is 15ml/min. Increasing this to 25ml/min not only reduces the risk of thermal damage, it has also been shown to improve cutting performance and keep burs cleaner.

Synea Power Edition handpiece cooling: Effectively maintaining a lower temperature with coolant flow.

Vibration and ergonomics

Vibration is another risk to be mitigated when cutting into high resistance materials. The use of dental handpieces exposes practitioners to hand-arm vibration (HAVS), which, despite being well under regulated levels, over time can contribute to permanent finger-symptoms. Damage from HAVS can include the inability to do fine work, and cold can trigger painful finger blanching attacks. Handpieces with higher torque operate effectively at a lower speed, and have a lower vibration rate than low-torque handpieces.

The cutting edge

W&H has been a global leader in the development and manufacture of medical technology products since 1890. Their new Synea Power Edition has been specifically designed to manage the hardest materials used in dentistry today, including zirconia. Cutting efficiency is maximised by the optimum ratio of torque and speed, making it the optimal solution for advanced ceramic material like zirconia. Its superior cooling capabilities allow a flow rate of over 50ml/min – more than triple the normal spray rate – ensuring greater safety and improved durability.

Innovation in one area of technology often requires other technologies to advance rapidly in oder to keep up. As long as material sciences continue to develop to deliver greater restoration robustness, innovation in handpieces designed to support new clinical needs will undoubtedly also grow.

The new Synea Power Edition on a white background.
The Synea Power Edition brings extra power to your handpiece range.


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