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  • Rick

Can't Get Your Bur In (or Out)? Clean Your Chuck!

Updated: Feb 1, 2022

Push-button highspeed handpieces can be very convenient and easy to use. They are somewhat more prone to problems like stuck burs, however. To help prevent problems with the chuck, a little extra maintenance is in order.


At least once a week, you should lubricate the chuck. Put a few drops of oil (or a quick squirt depending on what type of oil you use) directly into the chuck, spraying from the front (where the bur goes). Then, while pushing the button ("activating the chuck"), work a bur in and out to loosen any debris. You can also use a small proxa-brush or just blow air in the front. I don't recommend brushes with lots of tiny fibers (like many microbrushes) as fibers can come off in the chuck and cause more harm. Small brushes with nylon bristles tend to be safer.


Very few automated handpiece maintenance machines will also clean the chuck (I am only aware of two) so this is something you'll need to teach staff to do and make certain they follow-through regularly whether you use an automated machine for routine handpiece maintenance (before sterilization) or if your staff does it by hand.


Personally, I am not in favor of the automated systems for a variety of reasons which I detail further in my subscriber-exclusive post on handpiece maintenance.


If you lubricate and clean your chucks at least once a week, they should work well for the life of the turbine so bur trouble will be a rare event.

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