Dealing With a Broken Dental Headlight: Do’s and Don’ts

dental headlight

When at the middle of a busy clinical day your dental headlight suddenly stops working properly, what shall you do? Here are some things you should and should not do when dealing with a broken headlight.

Proper illumination is critical to any dental clinical practice. While using an overhead dental lamp provides illumination to the work area, it is often not enough for dental hygienists to see the oral cavity clearly. This is one of the primary reasons why dental hygienists nowadays switch to using dental headlights.

The dental headlight offers directional task, single-point spot lighting that helps enhance the contrast and visibility of the user’s field of view. Not only does it provides consistent, uniform, and proper illumination, it also eliminates the need for tiresome repetitive overhead reaches and manual adjustments of the dental lamp angle which do not only disturb your focus but also strain your shoulders. Since the dental headlight is worn on the head (and often mounted on the dental loupes) the light it produces shines on the parallel path to the line of vision of the user and provide sufficient, shadow-free illumination - something that is exactly what a clinical dental professional needs.

The benefits of dental headlight do not end at providing proper illumination alone. The best dental headlight also helps improve the health condition and posture of the user. It helps improve back and neck posture especially when paired with the best dental loupes. Dentists and hygienists who have used the right loupes-headlight combo also experienced less eye strain and less stress. All these benefits allow dental professionals to be more productive and to do better clinical work.

The case of a broken dental headlight

Just like any other dental equipment, dental headlights are also subject to damages, not to mention the usual wear and tear. No matter how well you take care of your illumination device, accidents may happen and the device can get broken. With everyday use, the usual wear and tear can also make the device more prone to breaking.

When at the middle of a busy clinical day your dental headlight suddenly stops working properly, what shall you do? How will you deal with your broken dental headlight? If a critical piece of dental equipment gets broken when you least expect it, it would be quite understandable for you to hit the panic button especially if your schedule is jammed and you have patients outside waiting in line for their turn. However, it would be more helpful if you stay calm and think of ways to keep the situation under control.

Broken Dental Headlight Do’s and Don’ts

Back to the question above, what will you do if your headlight gets broken? To answer that, below are some things you should and should not do when dealing with a broken headlight.

You should check what’s causing the problem

Before anything else, you should physically check why the headlight suddenly stopped working. If you are using a wired dental headlight, check if the wiring are in good condition and if they are properly connected. Also check the condition of the battery. When the light produced starts to dim or if the headlight does not switch on at all, it might be because the battery is drained. In that case, charging the device is the best way to fix the problem.

You should not attempt to self-diagnose the problem

While it is important to check the device by yourself before anything else, it is not advisable to self-diagnose the problem. If during the physical checking you did not notice any problem with the wiring or battery, don’t dig any further.

Some clinicians think it is more practical and logical to diagnose, troubleshoot, or fix the problem by themselves without professional help. This move can be more risky and can lead to a false diagnostic pathway which may cause more serious problems. 

Remember, you are a dental clinical professional and not an electronic repair expert. It does not hurt to accept your limitations and leave the problem to the real experts. 

best dental headlight

You should not swap parts or components

You should never use any components or parts other than provided by the manufacturer together with the device. Sometimes when the headlight does not turn on even if it has already been fully charged, clinicians assume that the problem is caused by a broken battery pack. If you think that your battery is causing the problem, never attempt to connect your headlight cable to the battery of another device, regardless of whether it is made by the same or different manufacturer.

The fact is, every device has its unique specifications. And even if it comes from the same manufacturer, it is not a smart plan to use other device’s battery pack because you can never be sure if it is compatible with your device. This is also true with the other parts of your headlight.

You should contact the manufacturer

The best thing you should do when your dental headlight gets broken is to contact the manufacturer as soon as possible. It seems inconvenient to contact the manufacturer, and have their professional technicians fix the problem, but it is the best and safest move you can make. You don’t have to se right away, though, as there are problems that are quite simple to deal with which you can handle by yourself with the assistance and instructions from the company’s tech support.

Again, never assume that you know what is exactly wrong with your device. Do not self-diagnose or self-repair your dental headlight without talking with or asking assistance from the manufacturer’s technical support as doing so will not only make the problem worse but it can as well void the warranty.

And lastly, try to keep calm no matter how badly broken your headlight is. Remember you can only think clearly of what you should and should not do and keep everything under control if you are calm.


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