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High-speed Dental Handpiece with Improved Sanitation

Award Information

Department of Health and Human Services
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
1994 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Waterjet Technology Inc
21414 68th Avenue South Kent, WA 98032
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 1994
Title: High-speed Dental Handpiece with Improved Sanitation
Agency: HHS
Contract: 1 R43 DE10952-1,
Award Amount: $72,894.00


The high-speed rotary handpiece is used for drilling, cutting, and grinding in modern dentaltreatment. Emergence of HIV and AIDS has highlighted deficiencies in the current handpiece design,bringing recognition of its potential role in the transmission of infectious diseases. Current pneumatichandpieces are based on 50-year-old technology, predating popular concern over controllingcross-infection. Recent emphasis on this potential has been the impetus for new sterilization guidelineswithin the industry, but sterilization has introduced additional problems and has not eliminated thesources of concern. Nationally, the majority of dentists still do not sterilize their handpieces betweenpatients. Our goal is to develop and show the feasibility of a new, sanitary, high-speed dental handpiececoncept. One approach to be considered is the promising idea of the exhaust vacuum air turbine. Thisnew handpiece concept provides several benefits in the area of cross-infection control, and has neverbefore been evaluated. The result of this project will be a dental handpiece with significantly improvedinfection-transmission control characteristics, which could increase the safety of dental professionalsand their patients and have immediate commercial application.

Principal Investigator:

David Steele

Business Contact:

Small Business Information at Submission:

Waterjet Technology, Inc.
21414 68th Avenue South Kent, WA 98032

Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No