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When to Replace Dental Equipment

When to Replace Dental Equipment


In order to keep your practice operating smoothly and provide your patients with the best possible care, it is important to ensure that you are routinely maintaining your equipment – as well as replacing it, when necessary. Within this article, we will discuss how to identify when your dental equipment needs replacement.


Understanding the Importance of Dental Equipment Maintenance

Properly maintaining your dental equipment and tools is crucial for extending their lifespan and ensuring that they are fully operational for as long as possible.


Below are some of the best practices for maintaining your dental equipment:

  • Regularly lubricate all dental handpieces and send them out for repair when necessary
  • Have x-ray equipment inspected and calibrated each year
  • Check and clean the master trap on a monthly basis
  • Regularly check compressor oil
  • Lubricate and disinfect dental chair parts regularly
  • Check and clean delivery unit traps regularly 
  • Change out O-rings on handpiece couplers weekly
  • Change out handpiece gaskets weekly


For dental equipment equipment repairs and service, explore Safco’s offerings including:

  • Safco Service – repairs and restoration of all models of air-driven handpieces, plus a FREE estimate on electric and surgical handpieces.
  • Safco Dental Supply + Dental Fix – same day emergency services and dental equipment installation and repairs. 

Typical Lifespan of Common Dental Equipment


  • Dental Burs: The lifespan of your dental burs can vary depending on factors such as the quality, rotational speeds, usage frequency, operator skill, sufficient cooling, sterilization practices, and storage.

Diamond burs typically last somewhere between 10-15 uses, while carbide burs can be expected to last 5-10 uses. Of course, depending on the factors listed above, you may experience a shorter or longer lifespan for your burs.


  • Apex Locators: Apex locators are intelligent electronic devices that are used in endodontics to detect canal length. If properly used and maintained, these devices can last for years – decades, even.  


  • Hand instruments: The lifespan of your hand instruments depends upon the quality of the instruments themselves, frequency of use, the skill level of the user, and sterilization methods.

For this reason, dental instruments can last anywhere from a number of months to a number of years.


  • Curing lights: Modern dental curing lights are designed to be exceptionally efficient and long-lasting. When properly used and maintained, these devices can last years. 


The longevity of your dental handpieces can be increased with proper use, care, and maintenance.  This means being regularly cleaned and lubricated, changing out O-rings and turbines when necessary, and proper use.

Another important part of handpiece maintenance is ensuring that they are sent out for repair whenever necessary. Safco’s efficient and comprehensive handpiece repair service provides a 24-48 hour turnaround every time, guaranteed.


Factors Determining Replacement of Dental Equipment

There are a few things that should be considered in order to determine if it is time to replace your dental equipment. Consider the following:


Deteriorating Equipment Performance

In order to provide your patients with the best possible care, it is important to ensure that your equipment is fully functioning at all times.


Be sure to regularly assess your equipment’s overall performance. This will help you determine if it is properly functioning. If you have noticed that your equipment has been falling short or malfunctioning on a regular basis, it is likely time to consider replacing it.


Compliance with Regulatory Standards

Ensuring that your equipment is in compliance with regulatory standards also means ensuring that your equipment is safe for both patient and provider, effective at its given task, and communicates properly with modern dental technology as a whole.


Signs That Your Dental Equipment Needs Replacement

Below are some of the most common signs that your dental equipment needs to be replaced.


  • Unexpected Breakdowns and Constant Repairs: Unexpected equipment breakdowns can be a massive inconvenience for both dental professionals and patients alike. 

Moreover, if you are frequently repairing essential pieces of equipment, you may find that investing in a complete replacement may be much more cost-effective in the long run and will provide a more enjoyable and professional experience for all involved.


  • Obsolete Technology: Technology is constantly improving and advancing – especially in dentistry. In many cases, older technology may fall short of its expected tasks and will not function correctly in conjunction with other pieces of equipment.

Investing in newer dental technology will ensure that practice operations can run smoothly and all of your equipment is compliant with current regulations. 

It can also help ensure that your practice remains a strong competitor in your local area; patients take comfort in knowing that their dentist makes use of the very best technology and equipment.


  • Recurring Patient Complaints: Unreliable equipment can make it quite difficult to provide your patients with the treatment they deserve. Long wait times and mistakes made during treatment may leave your patients feeling that there is more to be desired with their treatment experience as a whole.

If you have received a number of patient complaints that can be traced back to malfunctioning equipment, it is likely time to invest in new equipment that will assist you in providing a top-tier treatment experience.


  • Increased Operational Costs: Dental equipment makes up a considerable portion of operational costs – especially if there are pieces of equipment that are constantly needing to be repaired. 

If you find that frequent equipment repairs are impeding your practice’s overall budget and operational costs, it is probably time to invest in equipment replacement. While the initial purchase price of new equipment may be large, it is important to keep in mind that it is usually more cost-effective than paying for repetitive repairs. 

It is also important to keep in mind that your new equipment will come with a warranty, which will cover the costs of any repairs needed over the course of multiple years.


If costly dental equipment needs to be replaced, Safco Dental Supplies can help to support your practice and patient needs with financing for equipment and supplies through Group Financial Services. Learn more about financing dental equipment and supplies through the Safco and Group Financial Services partnership today.


Key Considerations When Selecting New Dental Equipment

Once you have made the decision to replace your equipment, there are some things that must be considered, such as:

  • Functionality and Usability
  • Cost
  • Warranty Speculations and Duration
  • Provider and Patient Needs


Restock Your Practice with Supplies from Safco

When it comes time to invest in new equipment for your dental practice, it is important to ensure that you are fully informed about your purchase options.


For high-quality instruments and dental equipment, place your trust in Safco Dental Supply. We provide a wide range of dental products and equipment to fit every need, with free shipping on orders over $250. Whether you are looking for a new 3D dental printer or a new autoclave, we have you covered.


We strive to get you your products as fast as possible. All orders placed before 4:30 pm CST (3:30 pm on Friday) are shipped out same-day.


Give us a call at 800.621.2178 to speak with one of our experts about finding equipment replacements for your dental practice.

Looking for more informative dental blogs? Learn more about how to recycle used dental equipment, or discover the many types of supplies and equipment that a new practice needs.

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