The basis of digital dentistry

The digital dentistry workflow is based on the ability to capture a carefully prepared preparation or clinical situation accurately.  The entire workflow starts from this prepared restoration – the capturing of the image, the dispatch of the digital impression to the laboratory / CAD software, the CAD design and finally the manufacture of the fixed or removable dental prosthetics.

Using the full range of available suitable handpieces can greatly help this challenging task through stable cutting power at all speeds, improved tactile sense and the ability to reverse the direction of rotation.

Added to this is the ongoing and increasing challenge of removing PFM or zirconia prosthetic restorations should such an action be called for, due clinical requirements.

In the above scenarios it quickly becomes clear that the trusted, and vitally important, dental turbine can reach the limit of its ability. Dental turbines are wonderful instruments, and presented a milestone when they first came on the market. They are fantastic at cutting, smooth for the patient (and increasingly quiet), are light in the hand and often offer fantastic LED illumination and an efficient coolant spray from all sides of the bur.

However, when a predetermined speed at full torque is required, like for the removal of bulk material, PFM or zirconia, they can reach the limit of their capabilities or might take a while to get the result required.

This is why there is a place on the dental unit for an instrument that offers speed adjustability, constant torque at any chosen speed, the ability to hold friction grip diamond or tungsten burs and good coolant.

This ‘jack of all trades’ is called a ‘speed increasing’ contra angle, often also labelled as ‘multiplicator’, ‘red band’ or ‘electric handpiece’.

The speed increasing contra angle is an interesting hybrid. The back end of it fits directly on to a ‘slow speed’ motor, like any contra angle or straight handpiece would.

The front end, however, resembles a turbine: it takes FG burs, often has quadruple spray and push button, and is mostly equipped with light (fibre optics).

Internally the speed gets multiplied by five. This means if a motor turns at 40,000RPM the bur turns at 200,000RPM.

These contra angles are designed to work in conjunction with an electric micromotor. They will physically fit an air motor, however the airmotor will not come even close to the desired speed (the maximum speed of an airmotor is generally between 20,000 and 25,000 RPM) or, very importantly, the torque.

Torque is the big advantage of electric micromotors as it is very hard to make them stop during use. This means that when torque is required, like when cutting through a PFM or zirconia crown, it is simply there.

Hence why these contra angles are sometimes called ‘electric handpieces’.

What are the options though when the dental chair is already in the surgery and there are no immediate plans to upgrade it?

Well, there are two options.

The first one is to call an engineer to install a full ‘built-in’ kit. This means that the electric micromotor is permanently built into the dental chair. This is not always a cost-effective option.

The second way of doing it is to simply use a ‘plug and play’ electric micromotor, like the EM420 from B.A. International, the leading handpiece repair and handpiece supply company.

The EM420 is simply put on top of the dental unit itself. The existing air motor tubing is taken out of the handpiece holder and screwed into the back of the EM420 once the airmotor has been removed. This is done by the user her/himself. The motor tubing from the EM420 can now sit in the vacated motor holder. The control unit simply needs to be plugged in, and then the air from the airmotor tubing is converted to electricity. From the outside, the new micromotor looks just like the old air motor (if anything probably a bit smaller and lighter). As it looks like an airmotor it means all existing slow handpieces can still be used.

However, this electric motor has also LED light and internal spray.

When then used with the speed increasing 1:5 red banded BA200LTS titanium contra angle that forms part of the EM420 package, the dental unit is fully equipped to the high demands of modern digital dentistry.

This red banded BA200LTS contra angle not only takes FG burs, has integrated optics, push button bur release and quadruple spray, but also has ceramic bearings that have a special ‘DLC’ (‘Diamond-Like Carbon’) coating. This means durability (3 years warranty on the contra angle is standard) but also arguably less vibration on this mechanically driven precision instrument.

The user will be astounded by the increase of efficiency when converting from air to electric.

The best bit is saved until last. The BA EM420 with 2 years warranty retails at £999+VAT. The top-of-the-range, high quality (made in Germany) speed increasing BA200LTS contra angle, with its 3 years warranty, retails at £739+VAT.

BA is offering the amazing EM420 @ £999+VAT INCLUDING one BA200LTS completely for free.

There is little reason not to try this next step in matters handpiece technology. You will be amazed at the torque, efficiency, speed and low noise level.

For more information please visit or call BA itself and speak to one of the knowledgeable sales consultants on 01604 777700.

This electric micromotor package is also available through BA’s exclusive distributors Henry Schein Dental and Kent Express.