For many podiatrists, the decision to acquire treatment drills for their clinic is based on improving efficiency, modernizing their clinic, controlling dust, and improving overall patient satisfaction.
Here are the top things you should consider and research before you purchase your next podiatry drill. Read this information and speak with colleagues and podiatry drill vendors to ensure you make the best investment and purchase the right drill for your clinic’s needs.
Podiatry Drill Types – Vacuum and Spray
It’s important to take into consideration the advantages and disadvantages of each type of podiatry drill before making a purchase.
A vacuum drill, for example, will evacuate most of the airborne dust and make for relatively easy clean up, as any heavier particles that fall down are easily brushed off. However, vacuum podiatry drills are moderately noisy.
On the other hand, a water spray drill delivers painless treatment as the water mist helps to prevent friction. Many patients are impressed by the efficiency and ease of this type of drill. However, cleanup after a treatment with a spray drill is more intensive
Podiatry Drill Handpieces
A good quality handpiece plays a key role in the efficiency of the podiatry drill. Both vacuum drills and water spray drills reduce treatment time if the handpiece is powerful. In this regard, most all-metal handpieces outperform plastic ones.
It’s also important to ensure the handpiece allows the user to grip it properly – for optimal control and accuracy of the bur.
Additionally, note that twist-type locking chucks improve retention of the bur, are more reliable, and accommodate variation in bur stem diameters more readily.
Ease of Repair
When buying a professional drill, we advise to take into consideration the level of difficulty of repairs.
Be sure to inspect cables and connectors for ruggedness.
Removable front panel switches on the drill’s control unit can be replaced at a lower cost than smooth decal-based front panels.
Drills with detachable handpieces are easier and less costly to repair than those with fixed handpieces. If a handpiece is worn out and the control unit is still functional, the user can just replace the handpiece or have it repaired rather than getting the entire drill fixed.
Solid vacuum hoses made from silicone rubber can easily outlast fragile ribbed hoses although they are a bit heavier.
All-metal handpieces are usually more robust to begin with and they can be disassembled with screw threads and re-assembled after repair of internal parts. They also tend to have ball bearings at the tip of the nosecone that offer longer life and less vibration of the bur, which patients like as it minimizes discomfort.
The power cords of your new podiatry drill should be sturdy and preferably of medical grade.
It’s also important that the drill you purchase can be operated easily and intuitively. Many drills on the market have excessive buttons and controls which often point to more complex and fragile electronics inside the control unit. Simple controls and a rugged heavy duty metal footswitch have proven their value over time.
While all drills will initially work and please the user, it’s important to evaluate the drill as a reliable investment for long-term use. The value of a drill is derived from the reliability and increased patient satisfaction as a result of shorter, more accurate, and less traumatic treatments. Good quality drills will last 10 to 15 years.
Be sure to ask the vendor what the turnaround time is for common repairs. This will help you get a sense of the overall quality and dependability of the machine as well as how well the vendor supports their product. Keep in mind that you have a right to ask for a trial period when evaluating a new drill and should be eligible for a refund should you feel dissatisfied with the product.