It’s a safe bet that you rely on compressed air, yet the compressor is usually thought of only when purchased or when it demands immediate attention. In addition, dental compressors are often selected based on purchase price and quick availability — criteria that rarely lead to acquiring a quality product. Since a practice cannot run without them, it makes sense to pay attention to what you buy.
Sizing Your Compressor
To properly size a compressor, you need to know your air consumption and the capacity of the compressor. Consumption is usually determined by how many operatories are in use at a time. Capacity is the compressor output in cubic feet per minute (cfm) and can usually be found in product literature. As a rule of thumb, each chair needs approximately 2 cfm.
Compressed air quality depends on the inlet air and what the compressor adds to it. Both oil-less and lubricated compressors are used in dentistry. Both require particulate filters to remove any airborne dirt and dust. With a lubricated compressor, the system must also include reliable coalescing filters to ensure patient safety.
Sometimes, Less Is More
Dental air compressors oil free have “heads,” with each one housing one or more pistons. Some models employ a single head, while others use a multihead design. A common misunderstanding is that a machine with multiple heads has built-in backup. When a multihead compressor has a malfunctioning pump, it may not be able to continue running on another head.
Not All Compressors Are Created Equal
Manufacturers make choices in design and materials to meet target price points, so quality varies widely. Following are some points to consider when comparing compressors.
Heads should be made of quality materials and designed to remove heat. Finned cylinders, large cooling fans, and filters are important features. Components should be designed to be serviced, not replaced. For example, antifriction coatings like Teflon are widely used to reduce piston wear.
Though it is often hard to quantify up front, your experience has probably shown that good quality equipment pays for itself. In the long run, quality compressors last longer, with less frequent repair and lower service costs. Can you afford the downtime?
If you are interested in other portable dental equipment such as portable dental chair or dental suction machine, you can feel free to contact us.