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Handpieces get hands-on evaluation at annual session

San Antonio—Dr. Donald Gebhart found it "beneficial."

Dr. Angela Scarfarotti was appreciative of the opportunity to get "hands-on experience."

Both were among the 110 dentists who tested electric handpiece models during the annual session's product evaluation forum, hosted by the ADA's Professional Product Review.

Since 2005, the ADA has hosted hands-on forums that allow dentists to test and evaluate products for The Review.

"It's a nice way to tell about all the electric handpieces and it's free," said Dr. Robert Carmichael, a pediatric dentist from Eugene, Ore.

This year's participants earned one continuing education credit for taking part in the evaluation and watching a slide presentation that compared air turbine and electric handpieces. In addition to testing the handpieces, many dentists earned 2.5 credits for attending The Review's first-ever seminar, "Closing the Information Gap With the ADA Professional Product Review," which examined individual brand decisions, product comparisons, manufacturers' claims and clinical relevance. (See story, this page.)

"I haven't had a chance to use an electric handpiece before," said Dr. Gebhart, an Army dentist stationed in Fort Sam Houston, Texas. "I had plenty of time to get a feel for each one. It's something I'd definitely look at purchasing."

Dr. Scarfarotti previously used all air handpieces but said she thought that "as dentistry [progresses] more people will use electric handpieces because of ease."

The results from the hands-on evaluation in San Antonio, along with other extensive data from the ADA Laboratories, will be published next July in the ADA Professional Product Review.

The Review is a free, 16-page quarterly newsletter mailed to ADA members with The Journal of the American Dental Association. Each issue provides practitioners with unbiased, scientifically sound relevant information on dental office products. Test results from the ADA's laboratories, expert panel discussions, technology updates, buyer's checklists and clinician input are woven into various product categories.

For more information about the PPR, visit

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