Dental Air Compressors VS Shop Air

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"HB Dental-supplier of dental air compressors to worldwide dental clinics,school dental labs and dental agency."


We know. Dental air compressors are expensive. And what's the real difference anyway right?  As tempting as it is to simply take your wallet down to Sears to buy  air compressor we suggest you don't. We have seen many a dentist try to rig an acceptable air compression system to the detriment of the patient and the doctors own handpieces.

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What’s the Difference?

Three words. Dry filtered air.

An air compressor for shop use is not made to be used hygienically. It is not made to be used in another persons mouth. It is made to to provide air for power tools. While you may think of your handpieces as power tools, rest assured, they are not. They have special needs. They require clean, dry air.

Why is Clean Air Important?

Dental air compressors have what is called a coalescent filter. This filter works to provide you and your patient with the cleanest air possible. Clean air is extremely important in dental work. Clean air is what keeps your handpieces in good working order and free from submicronic contaminants.

Non-dental air compressors are equipped with nominal five micron inline filters, which means that the lowest particle limit these filters can capture is 2 microns. Over 80% of all aerosol contaminants are under the 2 micron size.The only type of filters that can remove the submicronic contaminants as required in critical applications is the coalescent filter.  

How Do Dental Air Compressors Dry Air?

Dental air compressors are equipped with a dryer. There are two main types of dryers used on the market today. Desiccant and membrane.

Desiccant air dryers work by employing a special material called, (surprise), desiccant. This desiccant is made of a material that basically absorbs water.

Membrane air dryers utilize a dehumidification membrane that removes water vapor from compressed air.

So You’re Still Not Convinced

Now wait, I know what you’re going to say. “What if I buy a desiccant dryer and a coalescent filter to hook up to my shop compressor”? “Wouldn't that work”? Well, technically yes. It’s a project for the super handy dentist and involves a ton of plumbing and electrical knowledge.

Even if you are that kind of super dentist there is always the noise factor. Dental air compressors are made to operate in a dental office. They are made to operate quietly. Shop air compressors are made to operate in an environment where the noise level is not an issue.

Some of you may counter the noise argument with the “what if I put my compressor in a basement” argument. And to that I say, the quality of the air produced is only as good as the quality of the air that is sucked in. The air in a basement is stagnant and damp so the chances of dirt, water, and bacteria growth in the compressed air system is much higher.

But the Price of Dental Air Compressors!

Calm down. The price doesn't have to be a hang-up. Think outside of the box. Think used. You can buy an air compressor that retails at $5,000 for about $1,200 when you buy used. Air compressors have long lives if properly maintained. This makes them the perfect piece of equipment to buy used. Here at Atlas we have a huge selection of dental air compressorsCheck them out here. Happy hunting.