Handpiece Chronicle

Compliments of The Handpiece Surgeon Precision Service for Dental Professionals

Redwood City, CA Ph: (650) 363-9115 (877) 591-7257 Fax: (650) 249-3430


Volume 2, Number 1




- What do you get when you cross a pit bull with a collie? A dog that runs for help after it bites your leg off.




- An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with

his fools.

- Ernest Hemingway


- Democracy means that anyone can grow up to be president, and anyone who doesn't grow up can be vice president.


- Johnny Carson


- “I could tell that my parents hated me. My bath toys were a toaster and a radio”

- Rodney Dangerfield


- "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

    - Albert Einstein


- "I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have."

- Thomas Jefferson


- "The difference between 'involvement' and 'commitment' is like an eggs-and-ham breakfast: the chicken was 'involved' - the pig was 'committed'."

    - unknown

Bearing 411

Babbling about bearings

In our last issue, we discussed how replacing the bearings on highspeed turbines could save you money. Precision highspeed ball bearings are critical to the proper operation of your handpiece. Today there are many different types of bearings used in dental handpieces.

The major industry bearing manufacturers are Timken, New Hampshire Ball Bearing and Barden. These manufacturers supply bearings to both the original equipment manufacturers for new handpieces, and aftermarket repair industry.  Specific standards are set by the Annular Bearing Engineers’ Committee (or ABEC) to assure bearing precision meets the application. The ABEC scale consists of five ratings 1,3,5,7, and 9. The higher the number, the more precise the bearing. High-speed dental turbines require bearings, which meet or exceed an ABEC 7 rating.

Bearings vary in diameter, thickness and style. Some bearings are smooth, some stepped, and others flanged (pictured) There are four major components in a ball bearing. The outer race and inner race, the balls (7 or 8) and the retainer or cage which maintains ball spacing and alignment. Cage failure is the number one cause of bearing failure, so cage design is critical.

Cage materials are typically phenolic, polyamide, Torlon or now a new silver polymer composite.  Cage materials are selected for their strength, lubrication properties and resistance to high temperature.  Phenolic has desirable

lubrication qualities, but breaks down faster in the autoclave. Polyamide resists heat better, but does not provide as much lubrication.  The new silver composite material, is positioned as superior in both categories, yet costs significantly more.

Race and ball materials are a high quality, typically 440C, stainless steel. Star uses ceramic balls in their LubeFree system.

Finally, there are two major configurations of bearings used in the dental industry. Angular contact, and radial contact bearings. Both types have their specific advantages and disadvantages.

Radial contact bearings are more robust and have a wider range of applications than the angular bearings because both bearing races have a full shoulder to surround the balls, However, the cage on a radial bearing only partially surrounds the balls.

Angular contact bearings are more expensive and are thought to provide better life due to a full symmetrical cage design. But Angular bearings have only one of the two races with a full shoulder. Therefore angular contact bearings require a continuous axial preload to keep the bearing running on its race.

Most bearings require regular lubrication, but maintenance free bearing designs allow for use without lubrication. Maintenance free bearings are pre-lubed in open, shielded or sealed



Dental Humor


- "Happiness is your dentist telling you it won't hurt and then having him catch his hand in the drill."

-- Johnny Carson


- My dental hygienist is cute. Every time I visit, I eat a whole package of Oreo cookies while waiting in the lobby. Sometimes she has to cancel the rest of the afternoon's appointments.

- Steven Wright


George Carlinisms


- Well, if crime fighters fight crime and fire fighters fight fire, what do freedom fighters fight? They never mention that part to us, do they?


- There's no present. There's only the immediate future and the recent past.


- Why is the man (or woman) who invests all your money called a broker?


- Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck.





Look for a Field Medic in your area, or call today and we’ll be right there!


The Handpiece Surgeon

Redwood City, CA




Ph:   (650) 363-9115

         (877) 591-7257

Fax: (650) 249-3430


configurations and are available for many, but not all handpieces.

So what’s the point? Understand that The Handpiece Surgeon purchases bearings manufactured by the same major bearing suppliers as the original equipment manufacturers. Also, remember that more than one specific bearing will fit your handpiece, so we work to ensure your replacement bearings meet or exceed the OEM’s specifications whenever possible.

Word Search

Bearing terms


c t j b a l l t a l  ABEC  Torlon

n n o c b b h n l u  Ball 

d n h r a i p e o u  Barden

e e n o l g h d a i  cage

p e o n n o e r g d  Handpiece

e c e i p d n a h c  Surgeon

c o g k b h o b n e  John

r s r m e r l e j a  Phenolic

l b u i a p i c n i  Race

n n s t r a c e r a  NHBB

Solution at www.handpiecesurgeon.com

New capabilities!

Spindle concentricity testing

The Handpiece Surgeon is committed to providing you with the best handpiece servicing available. To that end we are always looking for ways to improve service and enhance our capabilities. Most recently we added spindle concentricity testing equipment. 

Dental turbines rotate at approximately 400,000 RPM. If your spindle and bur are not concentric (within .0011” according to the ISO) you can experience unwanted vibration and poor bearing life. The Handpiece Surgeon’s concentricity testing is designed to verify your spindle concentricity is within specification before it’s rebuilt. This is one more way we work to assure your satisfaction with the work performed on your handpiece.

Did you know?

Most elephants weigh less than the tongue of the blue whale.

The Handpiece Surgeon repairs surgical instruments. Get a free estimate today!

More Spindle Testing

Static and dynamic pull testing

Concentricity testing is not the only test your highspeed spindle must pass before The Handpiece Surgeon will rebuild it. We perform an industry standard 6lb pull test to verify that your spindle will properly hold the bur without slipping. Once your spindle passes all testing we will complete the rebuild on your handpiece and provide you with a 4-month warranty on parts and labor! If your spindle fails our testing we can recommend a high quality replacement turbine and have you up and running in no time!





Precision & Value

MK-dent handpieces are engineered with precision and manufactured to exacting standards in Germany, yet priced well below comparable European handpieces on the market. The product range starts with a 2 or 4 hole model at $295 and ranges up to a solid glass rod, triple spray model that is KaVo® Multiflex® compatible for a price of only $550.

If you’re looking for new handpieces, give The Handpiece Surgeon a call and try MK-dent.  You’ll be glad you did.