Dental Equipment: Repair or Replace

Struggling with dental equipment repair decisions? Explore our guide for insights on whether to repair or replace your dental machines effectively.

Dental Equipment: Repair or Replace

Navigating the choice between repairing or replacing dental equipment is a significant aspect of running a successful dental practice.

At Eclipse Dental, our extensive background in dental equipment repair, including specific services like dental chair repairs, servicing and maintenance, positions us as a knowledgeable guide in this critical decision-making process.

In this article, we'll explore the essential considerations that should inform your choice, focusing on cost-effectiveness, equipment functionality and long-term practice needs.

Our goal is to empower you with the information you need to make decisions that enhance the efficiency and reliability of your dental equipment.

Key Takeaways:

  • Informed Decision Making: Benefit from our deep experience in dental equipment repair services.
  • Repair vs. Replacement: Understand the factors that influence whether to fix dental equipment or invest in new ones.
  • Cost Analysis: Explore how weighing the options of repair, like dental vacuum pump repair, against replacement impacts your practice financially.
  • Personalised Recommendations: Gain insights from skilled dental equipment technicians for managing your equipment effectively.

Assessing the Condition of Dental Equipment

Making the right choice between repairing and replacing dental equipment starts with a thorough assessment of your current equipment's state.

In this crucial step, we emphasise examining a few key factors:

  • Equipment Age and Usage: The age and how intensively the equipment has been used can be telling. Older equipment or those used heavily might require more frequent repairs.
  • Performance Issues: Are there ongoing performance problems? Issues like reduced efficiency or frequent breakdowns can signal that it's time for a replacement.
  • Repair History: Keep track of past repairs. If a piece of equipment, like a dental chair or dental handpiece, has needed multiple fixes, it might be more cost-effective to replace it.
  • Technological Advancements: Sometimes, advancements in technology make newer equipment a better choice, not only for performance but also for offering advanced dental care.

Remember, this assessment isn't just about the physical state of the equipment. It's about understanding its role in your practice's efficiency and the quality of care you provide.

Cost-Benefit Analysis of Repair vs. Replacement

When weighing the options of repairing or replacing dental equipment, a detailed cost-benefit analysis is suggested. This approach includes:

Evaluating Immediate and Future Costs

It's important to compare the immediate repair costs, such as for dental handpieces, against the long-term investment in new equipment.

A more significant initial investment might be offset by lower future costs.

Considering Equipment Downtime

The downtime for repair versus replacement can vary significantly.

Frequent repairs might cause more disruption compared to the one-time downtime for replacing equipment.

Efficiency and Performance Considerations

New equipment usually offers better efficiency.

If repairs don’t significantly improve performance, replacing might be the better option.

Accounting for Depreciation and Resale Value

The current equipment's depreciation and potential resale value should be included in the analysis to understand the financial impact fully.

This approach is about making a strategic decision that aligns with the long-term goals and financial health of the dental practice.

Rental and Reconditioned Equipment Options

When managing dental equipment, the decision often comes down to repairing existing tools or investing in new ones.

However, there are other paths worth considering: the use of rental and reconditioned equipment.

This section will highlight how these alternatives provide a cost-effective and efficient solution, bridging the gap between expensive new purchases and the uncertainties of repairs.

We'll discuss how they offer high-quality options with less financial strain and added peace of mind through comprehensive maintenance support.

Dental Equipment: Repair or Replace

We received a phone call from Birchington Dental Care reporting that their old Castellini chair had broken down and couldn’t be fixed.

They needed a replacement but were faced with being without a chair in their busiest surgery whilst waiting for delivery.

We responded with a solution to install a temporary chair from our used chair stock on a rental basis whilst a new chair was being ordered.

This was installed the same day and saved the practice the disruption and downtime of having a surgery out of use.

Rental Equipment

Opting for rental equipment is not just about reduced upfront costs, it's also about convenience and peace of mind.

With rental options, you have access to the latest models of dental equipment, and all maintenance and service needs are covered.

This arrangement offers a worry-free solution, ensuring that your practice always has functional, up-to-date equipment without the stress of handling its upkeep.

Contact our team on 01322 421156 to discuss our rental service and the equipment available.

Contact us

Benefits of Reconditioned Equipment

Reconditioned dental equipment is another option worth considering.

This choice brings:

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Reconditioned equipment often comes at a significantly lower price compared to new models.
  • Quality Assurance: These items are usually rigorously tested and restored to ensure they meet specific standards.
  • Environmental Benefits: Opting for reconditioned equipment is an eco-friendly choice, as it extends the life of existing equipment.

Explore our range of high-quality, cost-effective options on our used equipment and ex-showroom equipment pages.

The Role of Dental Equipment Engineers

Dental equipment engineers play a crucial role in maintaining the efficiency and reliability of your dental practice's equipment.

Our engineers are not only skilled in swift and effective repairs but also prioritise providing immediate solutions, often carrying potential replacement machines for emergency situations.

Understanding the importance of minimal downtime, they offer the option of loan units if repairs cannot be completed on-site.

Our remote support service is designed for rapid response, enabling our team to diagnose and resolve issues promptly, often without needing to visit your practice.

  • Access to expert assistance at no charge, available to all clients.
  • Designed for quick diagnosis and problem-solving, often without the need for an on-site visit.
  • Send videos or photos of the issue, or use video calls, for real-time problem assessment and solution initiation.

To further ensure a smooth transition with new equipment, our engineers provide comprehensive staff training and hand-over sessions.

Dental Equipment: Repair or Replace

For an in-depth understanding of the value of having a dedicated engineer on call, we recommend reading our article – "The Ultimate Guide to Dental Engineering."

Preventative Maintenance and Equipment Audits

To ensure the longevity and efficiency of your dental equipment, it's crucial to adopt a proactive maintenance and auditing strategy.

Here are some key practices to consider:

  • Annual Equipment Audits: Conduct thorough audits of your equipment at least once a year. Keep a detailed record of any issues, repairs, replacements, and downtime. Staff feedback can also be invaluable in this process.
  • Rating System: Implement a rating system for each piece of equipment. This helps in prioritising which items might need replacing first and serves as an early warning system for potential failures.
  • Collaboration with Service Teams: Share your audit findings with our service team. We can log your equipment details and photos in our system, aiding in faster and more accurate response in case of breakdowns. We can also recommend repairs or replacements to minimise breakdown risks.
  • Regular Servicing Schedule: Arrange a service schedule for regular inspections, in line with the manufacturer’s guidelines, to keep your equipment compliant and in safe working order.

Adhering to these practices, including routine care, annual servicing and staff training forms a comprehensive strategy to maximise the usability and lifespan of your dental equipment.

Dental Equipment: Repair or Replace

Common Issues and Troubleshooting in Dental Equipment

Handling equipment breakdowns effectively is essential for minimising downtime in your dental practice.

Our team has identified key issues and their solutions.

Suction pumps, prone to wear and tear, often show signs like weak suction and abnormal noises. Regular servicing, especially for those with amalgam separators, is critical.

Additionally, overheating in air compressors and suction pumps, usually due to inadequate ventilation, should be addressed promptly by turning off the equipment and improving airflow.

Dentists can fit vents/louvres/thermostatically controlled extractor fans to prevent this issue.

Including an 'Equipment First Aid Kit' in your practice is also recommended for quick fixes.

This kit should contain essential repair tools and spare parts:

  • 3:1 syringe repair kit.
  • Light bulbs and handpiece lube.
  • Spare suction hoses and turbines.
  • Bur tools, cleaning fluids, filters and valves.
  • Small spare parts such as gaskets and o-rings.
  • Keep a file with manuals, invoices, and certifications.

A backup air compressor is also recommended so that this can be switched over if there is a breakdown.

Proactively monitoring for unusual behaviour and keeping detailed records will assist in quick diagnostics and efficient repair. Don’t hesitate to seek professional advice if needed.

For more detailed information, refer to our article on "Common Equipment Breakdowns and Why They Occur."

Engineer’s Answers

These are some of the most frequently asked questions our in-house engineers receive, hopefully, these answers will assist you.

Q: Is there a cut-off point of the amount of repairs a machine can undergo, before a replacement should be considered?
A: No, it all depends on the quality of the equipment, the use it has had, and the nature of the repairs required. We will recommend considering a replacement if we feel it would be more economical for the dentist.

Q: What tips would you usually give dental practices on equipment maintenance?
A: Ensure they use the cleaner recommended by the manufacturer. Have a protocol for regular cleaning of the filters and checking the machines for abnormal noises or heat. Switch the power off at night time.

Q: Are there any suggestions for a dentist before they call-out an engineer?
A: Check fuses where applicable, double-check all switches and valves are turned on. See if other surgeries are experiencing the same issue. Find out if the suction pump or air compressor is running, take photos and ideally, email all information to with details about how urgent it is and available times when the engineer can visit. Also, make notes of any issues as they arise.

Q: How soon can you visit!!
A: We always endeavour to attend to repair calls as soon as possible, but if you need an engineer urgently or the same day, you can choose our emergency call-out service. For a small additional fee, we will prioritise your emergency and ensure it is swiftly attended to with minimal downtime.

Q: What do you do in a service?
A: Read our article – The Ultimate Guide to Dental Engineering. This covers the role of the dental engineer and lists the areas that will be covered in a service for each piece of equipment.

Dental Equipment: Repair or Replace

Making the Decision: Repair or Replace

As you reach the end of this guide, if you're still pondering whether to repair or replace your dental equipment, we're here to assist.

We believe in providing solutions that offer the best value, tailored to the unique needs of your dental practice.

Our commitment is to help you make your practice a success, whether through repair, replacement, or exploring other available options.

If you're facing this decision, don't hesitate to contact our service department at 01322 421156 or fill out our Request Form. Our team is ready to provide unbiased advice to fit any budget and requirement.

We also pride ourselves on being an independent equipment supplier, offering a wide range of products to suit various treatment specialties.

Explore our Equipment section to find what you need, categorised by type, manufacturer, or specific keywords.


"I recently had a problem with my old Trophy X-ray machine which just stopped working. Being my only machine, I was a little stuck. I had a service contract with a big dental supplier who, after a week, still failed to send help. As I had already contracted Eclipse to build my new surgery, I decided to ask them to come in. They arrived the next day with a brand new machine in the van which they were prepared to fit if my machine was unrepairable. The engineer, Tim, found the problem almost immediately and then carried out a repair. He was gone in 20 mins. How many engineers would do that? A small repair or a new machine at £1200? None that I know."

Tim Earl, The Lodge Dental Practice Ltd

"Eclipse Dental has been our Equipment provider of choice for the past 10 Years. Their local service has been invaluable in planning and installation of complete surgery installations and trouble-shooting at times of crisis."

Dr S.S. Photay

"The engineers that attend our practice are very knowledgeable and always act in a professional manner. If we have an emergency situation John Boyt always tries his best to fit us in. I have no hesitation in recommending Eclipse Dental Engineering to you for all your servicing/breakdown needs."

Susan Sullivan, John Ginty & Associates, Eltham

"I have always found the team from Eclipse Dental to be most helpful whenever we have needed to call them for servicing, repairs or general advice. They are helpful and highly professional in every respect and I would have no hesitation in recommending them to my friends and colleagues in the profession. Our experience from both practice sites has been totally positive."

Dr Raj Rattan, Manor Park Dental Practice

In making your decision, remember that the right choice is about more than just the equipment – it's about the continued success and efficiency of your practice.


Where can I find dental equipment repair near me?

You can locate dental equipment repair services by searching online for local companies or asking for recommendations from fellow dental professionals. Many dental equipment repair companies have online directories to help you find a service nearby.

We service the South-East, London and Home Counties.

How do I fix dental equipment?

Fixing dental equipment typically requires technical expertise. It's advised to contact a professional dental equipment technician who can diagnose and repair the issue accurately.

What qualifications should a dental equipment technician have?

A qualified dental equipment technician should have specialised training in dental equipment maintenance and repair, often supported by certifications from recognised institutions. Experience in the field is also a key factor.

Can dental units be repaired, or do they need to be replaced?

Many dental units can be repaired, depending on the issue. It's best to consult with a dental equipment repair service to assess the unit's condition. They can advise whether a repair is feasible or if replacement is more cost-effective.

What should I consider when choosing a dental equipment repair company?

When selecting a dental equipment repair company, consider their experience, reputation, range of services and availability of dental equipment parts. Also, check if they offer guarantees or warranties on their repairs.

Dental Equipment: Repair or Replace

Service Department Staff

John Boyt – Service Manager
Ray Watts – Service Engineer
Timothy Boyt – Installations Manager

For exclusive offers and more, subscribe to our newsletter...