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Title Electric Hand-Pieces Produce Less Heat Than Air Turbine Hand-Pieces
Clinical Question In preparation for dental restorations, does a temperature variation exist between air turbine hand-piece versus an electric motor hand-piece regarding the health of the pulp chamber?
Clinical Bottom Line The electric hand-piece produced less heat than the traditional air turbine hand-piece with all types of dental rotary cutting instruments along with a higher cutting efficiency due to its greater torque.
Best Evidence (you may view more info by clicking on the PubMed ID link)
PubMed ID Author / Year Patient Group Study type
(level of evidence)
#1) 19410066Ercoli/2009Ten groups of rotary cutting instruments (n=30) were used to make 4 cuts on Macor blocks (n=75) for a total of 300 cuts.In Vitro Comparative Study
Key resultsEvery type of rotary cutting instrument used in the study stimulated the pulp chamber at a significantly lower temperature when used with the electric hand piece versus the air turbine. Overall, the electric hand-piece had a mean lower temperature (26.68 degrees C) than the air-turbine hand-piece (28.37 degrees C). However, the rise in temperatures from both hand pieces produced in the pulp chamber were not clinically harmful when compared to the baseline pulpal temperatures.
Evidence Search "Dental High-Speed Equipment"[Mesh] AND ("electricity"[MeSH Terms] OR "electricity"[All Fields] OR "electric"[All Fields])
Comments on
The Evidence
The major limitation of this study is that it was not a clinical trial but rather an in vitro study using Macor blocks. However, the results obtained were statistically significant in the favor of electric hand-pieces. It would not have been possible to measure the raise in pulpal temperature in an in vivo study, so the evidence can still be considered valuable.
Applicability For the dentists who are considering the risks and benefits of buying electric hand pieces, the results of this study are valuable but not in respect to pulpal injury. The pulp cannot be irreversibly damaged from the specified amount of heat created by either of the hand pieces. However, the use of Macor blocks instead of in vivo teeth is a limitation for comparing the exact temperature rise that would occur in human teeth. Therefore, electric hand pieces can reduce the intra-pulpal temperature, while maintaining the cutting efficiency, in operative procedures but not in a clinically significant manner.
Specialty/Discipline (Endodontics) (General Dentistry) (Prosthodontics) (Restorative Dentistry)
Keywords Electric, Air turbine, handpiece, pulpal damage, temperature
ID# 2210
Date of submission: 04/06/2012spacer
E-mail khatrish@livemail.uthscsa.edu
Author Shachi Khatri
Co-author(s) e-mail
Faculty mentor/Co-author Jeffrey Paz, DDS
Faculty mentor/Co-author e-mail drjeffpaz@gmail.com
Basic Science Rationale
(Mechanisms that may account for and/or explain the clinical question, i.e. is the answer to the clinical question consistent with basic biological, physical and/or behavioral science principles, laws and research?)
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None available
Comments and Evidence-Based Updates on the CAT
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by Brynna Diller, Tyler Pharr (San Antonio, Texas) on 11/30/2017
PubMed and TRIP database searches performed November 2017 revealed no higher or more recent data on the topic of heat generation difference between electric and air turbine hand pieces. Ercoli 2009 (PMID 19410066) continues to be the most current data with results that show a change in temperature between the electric hand piece and the air turbine hand piece. However, this study shows no clinical significance between the two. Future clinical research is recommended to investigate and track pulpal heat generated with the use of electric and air turbine hand pieces respectively

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