High-speed Dental Handpiece with Improved Sanitation

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1 R43 DE10952-1,
Agency Tracking Number: 25006
Amount: $72,894.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 1994
Solitcitation Year: N/A
Solitcitation Topic Code: N/A
Solitcitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Waterjet Technology, Inc.
21414 68th Avenue South, Kent, WA, 98032
Duns: N/A
Hubzone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 David Steele
 (206) 872-9500
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution
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.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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