An electric attachment consists of a series of interlocking gears and bearings simultaneously spinning together to allow for concentric torque output. When any single component of an electric handpiece fails, it is essential to stop using the attachment and send it in for repair. Continued use of an attachment after failure symptoms are recognized will result in higher repair costs.
Attachment head or body is heating up:
This occurs when the handpiece gearing is not meshing properly. The gears inside an electric handpiece are metal and spinning at speeds up to 200,000 rpm. If the gears do not mate properly, the uneven rotation will cause friction between the 2 gear assemblies in turn creating heat.
Bur is wobbling or not spinning:
This occurs when a handpiece bearings have blown. There are 2 sets of bearings in the handpiece, on the intermediate shaft and on the head cartridge. These bearings allow for continuous and concentric operation. When any/all of these bearings are blown, the handpiece will continue to drive on the gearing system and you will hear funny noises or experience wobbling in the bur. Continuing to use a handpiece when these symptoms are prevalent will wear the gears down and completely stop the handpiece from working.
Bur is getting stuck or not holding:
Similar to an air driven handpiece, there is a spindle or chucking mechanism in the head responsible for holding and releasing the bur. In an electric attachment, this spindle mechanism also has a gear attached to it which make up the head cartridge. In almost all electric repairs, the head cartridge will need replacement due to the wearing on the gear or bearings which will correct any bur slipping or locking issues. Often times these problems can be corrected by cleaning the chucking mechanism with a proxy brush and handpiece lubricant before sterilization.