Four Things You Should Know Before Buying Dental Equipment

1.The three-month rule
Tax implications of dental equipment online purchases are significant and should be factored into the decision-making process in a timely manner. Meet with your accountant midyear to track your practice income and estimate end-of-year tax implications. Allow three months to research, view demonstrations from viable vendors, and review pricing quotes before making major equipment purchases of more than $20,000.

2.Investing in core dental function vs. trendy developments
Most last-second impulse purchases involve the latest gadget to create a “buzz” in the profession. Trendy products have a mixed record of success in long-term use and value. Investments in the “less-glamorous” category of core dental function can be a safe and wise investment in the future productivity of your facility. An easily understood analogy is how fathers and teenage sons maintain automobiles.

3.Equipment discounts and trade show specials
I have written about this topic several times and I am always surprised that most doctors remain unaware of the typical pricing structure and product distribution logistics for major pieces of dental equipment.
Manufacturers such as A-dec, Pelton and Crane, Air Techniques, and Sirona distribute their products through networks of resellers. Many manufacturers are very cautious about which resellers they approve to sell and service their products.

4.New facility equipment purchases and “free design”
There are 254 IKEA stores in 34 countries, including 34 locations in the United States. To quote their Web site, the IKEA business idea is to offer a wide range of home furnishings with good design and function at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them – and still have money left!

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How does a brushless electric dental micromotor work?

The article how does a brushless electric dental micro motor work? explains how brushed motors work. In a typical DC motor, there are permanent magnets on the outside and a spinning armature on the inside. The permanent magnets are stationary, so they are called the stator. The armature rotates, so it is called the rotor.

The armature contains an electromagnet. When you run electricity into this electromagnet, it creates a magnetic field in the armature that attracts and repels the magnets in the stator. So the armature spins through 180 degrees. To keep it spinning, you have to change the poles of the electromagnet. The brushes handle this change in polarity. They make contact with two spinning electrodes attached to the armature and flip the magnetic polarity of the electromagnet as it spins.

This setup works and is simple and cheap to manufacture, but it has a lot of problems:

The brushes eventually wear out.
Because the brushes are making/breaking connections, you get sparking and electrical noise.
The brushes limit the maximum speed of the motor.
Having the electromagnet in the center of the motor makes it harder to cool.
The use of brushes puts a limit on how many poles the armature can have.

With the advent of cheap computers and power transistors, it became possible to “turn the motor inside out” and eliminate the brushes. In a brushless DC motor (BLDC), you put the permanent magnets on the rotor and you move the electromagnets to the stator. Then you use a computer (connected to high-power transistors) to charge up the electromagnets as the shaft turns. This system has all sorts of advantages:

Because a computer controls the motor instead of mechanical brushes, it’s more precise. The computer can also factor the speed of the motor into the equation. This makes brushless motors more efficient.
There is no sparking and much less electrical noise.
There are no brushes to wear out.
With the electromagnets on the stator, they are very easy to cool.
You can have a lot of electromagnets on the stator for more precise control.
The only disadvantage of a brushless motor is its higher initial cost, but you can often recover that cost through the greater efficiency over the life of the motor.

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