Nowadays, the dental air compressor is most likely not your main concern when going to the dentist for your yearly check. But studies have shown that the air that your dentist uses to blow dry your teeth isn’t always very healthy for you. A whole range of oil-free compressors is available on the market. Oil-free compressors have the big advantage that they are 100% oil-free, so there is zero chance of oil in the compressed air system. Why first contaminate the air, to clean it up again later with filters, when you can create clean compressed air with an oil-free compressor?
The oil in oil-lubricated compressors will create a protective film of oil inside the air receiver and air piping. But still, an oil-free compressor would be highly favorable over an oil-lubricated one. There are galvanized or stainless steel air receivers available nowadays, as well as plastic compressed air piping, which will eliminate the problem of corrosion.
Water in the compressed air is a common problem in compressed air system, and it is especially a big concern for dental air systems. For this reason, a dental compressor should be equipped with an compressed air dryer. There are different types of air dryers available, mainly refrigerated and desiccant. But I would recommend the adsorption air dryer .
Desiccant compressed air dryers will create a much lower pressure dewpoint, as low as minus 40 degrees or more. This means that the relative humidity in the compressed air system, and the absolute amount of water in the air (grams/m3) is also very low.
Besides producing clean air (no oil, no water), a dental compressor has some other features that are a must-have for many dentists.
As they are installed in a clean clinic, in a office-like environment (as opposed to an industrial environment), the compressor needs to be quiet, small and work on a standard 220 / 100 volt power outlet.
As the dentist will be busy with its everyday job of fixing peoples teeth, he won’t be very concerned with compressor maintenance. So a maintenance free compressor would be ideal.
When buying a compressor, also make sure that the output (the amount of air it can produce per minute or hour) is right for you. A too-small compressor will give you problem for the obvious reason that the pressure will drop when too many people use air at once.