A dental micromotor is an indispensable device used by dentists and laboratory technicians. These devices look and function similarly to a high-speed handpiece. However, they are more versatile and have a few different applications.
Dental micromotors operate at a low speed. This makes them ideal for semi-hard tissues, such as dentine. Moreover, its low-speed torque prevents the dentist from removing healthy tissue near the pulp chamber. Therefore, preventing accidental pulp exposure.
One of the most crucial characteristics that differentiate it from a high-speed handpiece is its interchangeable pieces. The micromotor can be equipped with two different angled micro motor handpieces. Depending on the micromotor handpiece, the dentist or laboratory technician can perform multiple procedures.
What Is A Dental Micro Motor?
A dental micromotor is a handpiece that operates at low speed. As the name suggests, this handpiece is activated by a micromotor located inside of it.
Similarly to a high-speed handpiece, the dentist can use the dental micromotor to remove decayed tissues from the tooth. Moreover, it can also be used for dental prepping. However, since it operates at a lower speed, it is inefficient to work on the enamel as it is sturdier tissue.
Dentists can equip the dental micromotor with polishing cups and brushes. Therefore, it is vital for prophylaxis sessions. Its low speed prevents harming the tissues while being used to polish. Nonetheless, dentists should be aware of heat damage.
Most dental micromotors come integrated with a system that allows the dentist to adjust the speed and torque. This system usually comes in the shape of a wheel around the micromotor.
Lastly, to operate, the dental micromotor needs to be equipped with a specialized instrument or handpiece. These handpieces are where the dentist places the burs and polishing cups.
Angled Micromotor Handpiece
The micromotor is just half of the handpiece. It must be equipped with one of the two different angled micromotor handpieces to be used. These instruments are placed on top of the micromotor.
● Straight handpiece:
The straight handpiece has a long straight shape. Unlike a regular high-speed handpiece, the opening for the burs is at the tip of the handpiece, looking upward.
The straight handpiece is mainly used in laboratory procedures and prosthetic restorations. The dentist and laboratory technician can use it to retouch acrylic detail on a denture, such as smoothing a sharp edge or removing interferences. It can also be used to fix the margin on provisional acrylic crowns.
The straight handpiece can be equipped with polishing mops. This way, the dentist can achieve a high-quality finish on any acrylic provisional restoration.
Nonetheless, the straight handpiece can also be used inside the mouth. Dentists might use it during the extraction of third molars.
● Contra-angle handpiece:
The contra-angle piece forms a minor angle similar to the one of the high-speed handpiece. It allows dentists to use it in the same way.
The contra-angle can be equipped with specific burs to remove caries in the tooth's dentine. However, it is more commonly used for polishing. The dentist can equip it with a polishing cup during prophylaxis to polish the teeth. It can also be equipped with polishing discs or other specialized gadgets to make the restorations look smooth and shiny.
Types Of Micromotors
Micromotors can be pneumatic or electric. Furthermore, the electric ones can be either carbon brushes or brushless micro motors.
Most dentists use pneumatic micromotors, while laboratory technicians might opt for an electric version.
● Pneumatic micromotors:
This type of micromotor is air-driven. This means that it uses pressurized air to activate. As a result, the dentist needs to connect it to the dental chair to use it. Once connected, the dentist just needs to press the pedal.
The air flows through the hoses into the micromotor. This activates the internal mechanism and causes the bur or the polishing tool to spin.
It is essential to know that not all pneumatic micromotors possess a cooling system. Therefore, the dentist must be careful when using it to avoid overheating the tooth and causing pulp damage.
● Electric micromotors:
As the name suggests, electric micromotors are powered by electricity instead of air thrust.
They possess a control box that is connected to the micromotor. This box is where the electric mechanism resides and where the speed and torque are regulated. Nonetheless, electric micromotors are also activated by the user with a foot pedal.
Traditional electric micromotors are referred to as carbon brush micromotors. These micromotors possess specialized carbon brushes on the inside that allow the electric supply to traverse to the rotatory mechanism, causing it to spin.
On the contrary, contemporary models are brushless micromotors. These models use powerful magnets to activate the device.
The dental micromotor price can vary between carbon brush micromirror and brushless micromotor.
Although both alternatives are equally efficient, brushless micromotors tend to be more expensive.
Dental Micromotor Benefits
Dental micro motors offer many benefits to the dental practice, such as:
● Reduces the risk of accidental pulp exposure:
The high-speed handpiece can be hard to control on dentine since it is semi-hard tissue. Therefore, the dentist could cause accidental pulp exposure while removing caries near the pulp chamber.
However, the low speed of the micromotor gives dentists more control while working on these areas.
● Outstanding aesthetic restorations:
With the help of a dental micromotor, the dentist can improve the restorations' aesthetics. The polishing process can enhance the results and make them look smooth. Therefore, providing a natural-looking finish that blends perfectly with the other teeth.
The different angled handpieces allow the dentist to perform a wide variety of procedures using just one device.
How To Choose The Right Micromotors For Your Practice?
There are a few aspects to consider, such as the dental micromotor price, the torque and speed, and the type.
Electric micromotors are usually better for a dental laboratory since they don't require a dental chair. On the contrary, it is recommended to get a micromotor with a cooling system for a dental office to avoid heat damage.