Cliff's Notes

The Business of Dentistry

Dental Compressors Expensive!

The dental air compressor is the heart of your practice. Like nothing else in you office, if it goes down everything clinical stops. Unlike their counter parts that you can find at The Home Depot, they are expensive and specifically designed for healthcare. Filters and drying chamber are incorporated to pro-vide clean and dry air to help improve clinical procedures with predictable results.

Clean Dry Air … Why are dental compressors so much more expensive than what you see at a retail store. Clean dry air is extremely important when delivering quality dentis-try. When air is compressed the moisture is squeezed out and settles at the bottom of the tank. A purge valve releases the water when a small puddle forms. The remaining mois-ture is captured by a desiccant filter that needs to be changed annually. This is one thing that is never done in any office I walk into, out of sight out of mind. The filter serves another purpose on older systems, they filter out oil vapor.

Oil type compressors … On top of the compressor tank is an electric motor. The motor, just like the one in your car, requires a lubricant to run smooth and reduce friction wear & tear. The oil does burn out and levels should be checked monthly. This is another thing that is never done. Another big issue is that the oil vapor emitted by the motor is in the ambient air can be picked up by the air intake and drawn into the tank. The oil resi-due builds up in the air lines and totally clean dry air is almost impossible. Today, dental designed compressors are oil less.

Oil Less Compressors … New compressor motors are designed to run without oil. A synthetic lubricant is sealed into the race to reduce friction. Although oil less systems are clinically better, they are a little noisier and don’t last as long. Their life expectancy is reduced by about 20% . Replacing an oil type unit with an oil less will not solve the problem of oil vapor in the air lines, once its there its there, but it will reduce the wear on your operatory equipment.

Compressor size … Dental air compressors come in all different sizes. The motors (heads) are rated by hoarse power and the amount of power you need depends on the number of active users. Multiple users with a small compressor will increase the recov-ery time it takes to repressurize the tank causing the heads to run hot and reducing their life span. A larger compressor will hold its pressure longer and more powerful heads will fill the tank faster. A dental compressor, when fully pressurized, hold 100 psi and when bled to 80 psi the heads turn on. The recovery time is the amount of time it take to reach 100 psi. Your compressor is so important that newer systems incorporate software for central operational control.

Central Operational Control … If you read this far down my rant you will now under-stand were we are going. All of your equipment and management systems will talk to each other. Everything will be tied into a central monitoring and management system. Keep this in mind when buying or replacing dental equipment. Including compressors.

February 7, 2018 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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