Comprehensive Dental Air Compressor Guide

As dental fit-out specialists, we have designed many practices which have included the supply and installation of a dental air compressor.

Dental Air Compressor Guide

What is a Dental Air Compressor?

Air compressors are an indispensable element of the dental surgery and critical to the continuous functioning of your practice.

We have put this guide together as experienced suppliers, installers and service engineers of dental equipment and machinery.

The following topics will be discussed in this comprehensive guide:

  • Oil-free compressors
  • Selecting an air compressor
  • Noise level
  • Servicing and maintenance
  • Value for money
  • Installations

How Does a Dental Air Compressor Work?

Air compressors are the heart of the dental surgery. This machine compresses, cleans, dries and stores air, which powers handpieces and certain functions of dental treatment centres and hand-piece cleaners.

The dental air compressor is distinct to dental surgeries as they lower the dew point of the compressed air, removing impurities via an inline filtration system and removing moisture from the air through a compressed air dryer to protect your handpiece, ensure dry air from the 3:1 and eliminate bacteria.

Your practice is dependent on a steady, reliable supply of high-quality compressed air. So, for this reason we advocate Oil-Free air compressors which are manufactured to the highest standards of quality control and come complete with a warranty and our Equipment Maintenance service schedule from our in-house team of trained engineers.

Dental Air Compressor Guide

Why Choose an Oil-Free Compressor?

The use of dental air compressors is strictly regulated because they must meet a high degree of hygienic criteria. This is to prevent dental patients from being subjected to contaminants that could cause infections or other problems.

Oil and other particles must not be allowed to seep into the air flow, so there are standards of operation and regulations concerning dental air compressor use.

Dental Compressor Regulation HTM2022 require compressed air to be generated by an oil free compressor with an integral dryer, internally coated air receiver and a breathing air and bacterial filter down stream of the compressor.

Dental Compressor Regulation HTM02-01 Part A.

Dental Compressor Regulation HTM02-01 Part B relate to your pipework system, ensuring it is safely located away from potential damage, is free from leaks and contains sufficient isolation valves.

Standard oil-lubricated compressors can use a filter to remove particles, although these filters are expensive and need to be regularly checked and replaced.

Why contaminate the air to clean it with filters, when you can create clean compressed air with an oil-free compressor? Due to cost of oil, filters and wear on handpiece turbines, oil-free compressors are essentially more cost-effective.

When Should you Replace your Compressor?

The efficiency of your compressor is based on the time it takes to pressurise the tank from zero to maximum pounds per square inch, this is also called the Duty Cycle.

Most manufacturers have suggested times for a compressor to pressurise, as well as recommended duty cycle times. If you are using an older compressor, regularly monitor its performance and if it is running too long to maintain pressure, there is either a leak in the system or the compressor is weakening.

Also, monitor the quality of air being produced. To check the cleanliness of the air you can perform a simple test using a small mirror. Just blow air from your handpiece onto the mirror. Any debris, oil, moisture or contaminates emitted will clearly show up on the surface.

Considerations for Dental Compressor Selection

As dental fit-out specialists, we have designed many practices which have included the supply and installation of a compressor, including multiple surgeries.

We focus on helping dentists make their dental practice a success by maximising operational efficiencies and identifying the right solution for each practice. These are the factors we would consider when deciding on which machine would be most suitable.

Dental Air Compressor Guide

Choosing the Right Compressor Size

To determine the correct compressor size, evaluate your air consumption by considering how many operators are in use at a time. Capacity is the compressor output in litres per minute (lpm), and typically each chair needs approximately 50 lpm.

Capacity can influence the reliability of your compressor as they are designed with a limited “duty cycle” which is the time a compressor can run without cooling off. Receiver tank size and pressure is also calculated; however, our selected compressors are listed with this already assessed.

1-2 Chair Compressor
3 Chair Compressor
2-4 Chair Compressor
4-6 Chair Compressor

5-6 Chair Compressor
6-8 Chair Compressor

A compressor system that is the right size for your practice is more efficient and will last longer. An overworked machine could have an adverse effect on compressed air dryness which would cause handpieces and patient safety to be negatively affected due to the wetter compressed air.

Noise Level

Most silent air compressors operate between the 60-70 decibel range. The use of an Acoustic Hood or Cabinet will reduce noise and minimise disruption.

Acoustic Hood for quiet operation – 57dB – MGF SKY 30/7 S PR 1-2 Chair Compressor.

Acoustic Enclosure – 54dB - MGF CS 30/7 M PR 1-2 Chair Compressor.

Super-silenced Acoustic Cabinet which provides an optimal noise reduction - 50dB -
MGF MiniBox 24/7 Prime.

Compressors for CAD/CAM

Milling and grinding machines need constant compressed air, so a high quality compressor is required that can produce a continuous operation. These would need to be oil-free and dry compressed air is of prime importance.

Because of the uninterrupted flow of air, a long duty cycle is required and a membrane drying unit. The absorption dryers in standard dental air compressors are not suited to run these machines. See our range of CAD/CAM air compressors.

Compressor Servicing

A properly utilised and maintained compressor generally lasts several years. MGF Compressors also have powder-coated tanks, these are internally coated to prevent rust.

Eclipse Dental can provide a comprehensive service schedule for all maintenance and certification intervals, contacting you when required to book work in at your convenience giving you peace of mind that you will remain compliant for the life of your compressor.

We also provide air quality testing units for medical and dental air to determine the level of contaminants in a compressed air supply.

Contact us to discuss how we can enable your dental practice to operate at the highest performance levels.

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Value for Money

Your experience of consumer goods has probably shown that high-quality tools and appliances pay for themselves and buying cheap often means buying twice. In the long run, quality compressors last longer, with less frequent repairs and lower service costs.

MGF specialise in the production of oil-free compressors, silent compressors, OEM compressors, industrial compressors and suction systems for the dental industry for over 20 years.

They are also able to offer customised solutions to face the needs of those clients that require special compressor applications. Typical characteristics of MGF compressors are: simple, complete and easy-to-understand instrumentation, light and quick maintenance operations and the continuous effort to always improve.

Cattani’s range of compact compressors produce clean, dry, oil-free air, protecting the dental unit, rotary instruments, staff and patients alike in modern and demanding practices. All compressors are hand-built and quality checked at every stage of production. The compressor receivers are coated with BioCote® Silver Ion Technology which delivers highly effective protection against microbes such as bacteria and mould.

See our full range and dental air compressor prices here.

Where Can a Compressor be Installed?

A dental air compressor is typically installed in a clean, central location where it can power multiple surgeries.

If the location of the compressor is not given much thought the quality of the air can be compromised. They are sometimes placed in a cupboard with bad air circulation or basement, which can have issues with damp. Or if there are pungent sewage odours nearby this can affect the overall condition of the air.

Our designers and engineers would make sure that the air compressor is installed in a place where it can draw in clean air and where it can be easily reached for maintenance. Discover some of the solutions we have achieved in a wide range of surgeries and practices.

Case Studies

Kent Smile Studio Chatham

Smiles for You

Queen Mary’s NHS Hospital

Southborough Dental Practice

If you require dental air compressor reviews we can provide contact details of surgeries that have one of our machines installed.

Dental Air Compressor Guide

Maintaining your Compressor...and Peace of Mind

The air compressors we supply are designed to provide years of trouble-free, reliable service, although certain components do require periodic servicing. Unexpected breakdowns can be avoided by maintaining your machinery and organising a service schedule with a certified and trained engineer.

This article on plant machinery care and cleaning covers the essential care, maintenance and cleaning of your air compressors and suction pumps within the dental practice.

Contact our Service Department for tips on maintaining your dental equipment or if you would like us to review your current installation. We also keep air compressor spares and accessories in stock, so keep us in mind if your current air compressor is not working. Check out this related article - Do I need to have my equipment serviced?

And click on these links to see the services we provide:

Air compressor maintenance - Free, unlimited technical support is available. Our customers enjoy responsive, efficient, and on time service from our in-house team of trained engineers.

Air compressor repair - We have an experienced team of engineers available to repair serious malfunctions to equipment such as suction pumps and compressors.

Air compressor rental - We also offer rental packages on dental equipment as an alternative to purchase. This gives you full peace of mind knowing that all servicing and maintenance costs are covered.

Air compressor certification - We offer certification and testing as well as service reports for your CQC compliance file.

Contact our project consultant Chester Boyt for dental air compressor sales and John Boyt for air compressor service details.

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