A compact sterilizable unit has a control box containing internal water and air supply networks and a sterilizable water supply bottle, dental handpiece and dental syringe removably connected to the control box by specially adapted connector fittings. The unit has a retrofit connection to a conventional four hole connector which supplies operating air in response to the conventional dental operatory foot control. Only sterile water is supplied to the patient from the sterile water bottle through the handpiece and syringe. The connection of the handpiece to the control box is through a high temperature resistant sterilizable tubing harness having an expanded sheath construction that does not inhibit bending.
The dental practice is increasingly concerned with the necessity of maintaining a sterile medical environment for the patient. The dental handpiece is most commonly an air operated turbine driven drill which necessarily includes a misting spray of cooling water to avoid heat buildup from friction generated during the drilling operation. Suction devices and dental syringes are employed to wash down and air dry the work area in the patient’s mouth. Conventional dental handpieces and the syringes have extended length tubing harnesses which are connected to a stand mounted near the dentist’s chair and supplied with a common source of potable water and pressurized operating air. Coolant and rinse fluids are necessarily introduced into the patient’s oral cavity. Many standard dental procedures require exposure of the patient’s blood system to these fluids through incisions, root canals and other standard dental operations.
In addition to the fact that the potable water supply is not really sterile, and can itself introduce microbial organisms to the patient, there is an increasingly serious concern about the possibility of cross-contamination occurring from patient to patient in connection with the AIDS epidemic. Many of the dental appliances themselves are not sterilizable. Attempts to sterilize them by soaking in alcohol, for example, are mostly ineffective and the tubing which carries the operating fluid and connectors for the tubing are not sterilizable at all.
It would be highly desirable to provide a portable unit and dental curing light which can be connected to a standard source of compressed air through a conventional standard dental fitting but which can provide a sterile solution through sterilizable dental appliances for use as a coolant and rinse in order to provide a substantially sterile environment for each individual patient, and to do so by means of a truly compact portable unit which is conveniently and easily movable from dental station to dental station within a dentist’s office and to and from effective sterilizing equipment like teeth whitening machine.