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30 Nov 2023 | Australasian Dental Practice

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Mocom launches new solutions to streamline handpiece maintenance

By Joseph Allbeury

MOCOM Australia is well-known as a leader in the supply of specialised infection control equipment for dental practices and now the company is introducing another unique solution. We spoke with MOCOM Australia's Jim Owen to hear all the details.

Hi Jim, I hear that MOCOM Australia is backing up its leading position in the steriliser and washer disinfector market with a new solution for handpiece maintenance. Tell us more.

MOCOM Australia is launching two solutions for automated handpiece maintenance under the brand name THALYA.

There's an entry level unit, which lubricates four handpieces in just under a minute and then there's the THALYA+, which can clean, disinfect, lubricate, purge excess oil and then dry four handpieces in 12 minutes.

Both units have couplings available for all the major handpiece brands including KaVo, Dentsply Sirona, W&H, Bien-Air and NSK and there is also a Midwest connection.

And both work with any brand of lubricating oil, so if you use a certain brand of handpiece, you can continue to use the matching oil if you wish, except for KaVo QUATTROcare Plus oil, as the can size and shape is not compatible. MOCOM Australia also has its own brand of oil available as a further option.

So when you buy a THALYA or THALYA+, you specify which handpiece connectors you want?

Exactly. So whatever brand of high speed handpieces you're using, we configure the unit according to your needs. Slow speed handpieces are generic, so there is also a slow speed coupling available.

The launch package for THALYA and THALYA+ includes four couplings of your choice. The THALYA+ package also includes the cleaning chemical. You just need to add the oil of your choice.

So what does the base model THALYA do?

It's pretty straightforward and easy-to-use. It purges the handpiece, lubricates it and then purges excess oil. It will complete 4 handpieces in 55 seconds. Handpieces last longer if lubricated continually and correctly and THALYA makes this a simple process.

And what does the THALYA+ do differently?

The THALYA+ is unique to the Australian market in terms of its capability. It flushes a chemical through the handpiece internally and also externally to clean and disinfect it. It then lubricates, purges excess oil and dries the handpiece. There is no other product that does what this unit does.

And then you would still sterilise the handpiece?

Yes. So it doesn't replace sterilisation, but it does mechanically clean the handpiece. And I think that's a major point to highlight because I don't know that many practices are actually cleaning handpieces internally. When a handpiece slows down after use, it creates a back-siphoning effect, where it can draw bioburden and liquids back inside the handpiece. And that needs to be cleaned out. It's just like anything else that's sterilised - if it's not cleaned first, if that bioburden's not removed, then it can't be sterilised effectively. So the THALYA+ ensures handpieces are both cleaned and lubricated ready for sterilisation as part of a repeatable, mechanised process.

How do practices clean handpieces internally now?

That's a good question. In my experience, it's most often not being done. If you have a washer disinfector unit, you can use a coupling to allow handpieces to be washed internally and then you still need to lubricate. You can also manually spray a chemical through the handpiece. But again, if you're doing it manually, how can you gauge its effectiveness? You can't see what's inside a handpiece, so automating the process using a proven method is ensuring consistent and effective cleaning every time.

And how often should you internally clean a handpiece?

You should be doing it after every use of the handpiece, just like you sterilise it after every procedure. Clean, lubricate and sterilise. We can really see a need for THALYA+ because handpieces are either not being cleaned internally or not being cleaned after every use and when they are, it's a time-consuming, labour-intensive and technique-sensitive task that slows down the reprocessing cycle. So the THALYA+ performs this function in 12 minutes in a set-and-forget process. It allows this important step to be easily incorporated into the reprocessing cycle every time.

And do manufacturers recommend this?

All manufacturers recommend that their handpieces are cleaned and lubricated and both of these functions prolong handpiece life.

Can the THALYA+ just be used to lubricate the handpieces without cleaning?

Yes. There are four different cycles you can choose from with the Thalya+. Cycle 1 does everything - clean, disinfect, lubrication, air purge. Cycle 2 is just clean and purge if you want to clean without the lubrication. Cycle 3 is lubrication and air purge. And Cycle 4 is an additional air purge. So if you need to remove excess oil from a handpiece, you can use Cycle 4.

Are there any other points to highlight?

There are a couple of other unique points. The first is that when you place the handpieces into the chamber, you can tilt the couplings 45 degrees forward for easier access attaching the handpieces onto the couplings.

Another feature is that the THALYA+ can also process scaler handpieces. There's nothing else on the market that can do that. When you're processing the scaler handpieces, it's just cleaning and disinfecting - you don't need to lubricate.

And which scalers does the THALYA+ accommodate?

It will clean EMS, Satelec, Stern Weber and Anthos scalers.

So this is quite a game changer for speeding up instrument reprocessing?

Especially as the THALYA+ allows you to easily and automatically clean inside a handpiece. I've spoken to various handpiece technicians, who obviously open handpieces when they're repairing them and the feedback is that most are in an horrendous condition. So the fact that we're able to address this problem in an automated manner in order to make sure that you achieve sterilisation is vitally important. So yes, I believe it is a real game changer.

The THALYA+ takes all the hard work out of handpiece maintenance with the same proven, effective process performed every time. The correct amount of oil is delivered - the same measured dose of cleaning chemical is used. You're not over- or under oiling and you're not leaving dirt or bioburden inside.

Thank you for your time.

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