The Benefits of Going Cordless in Dentristry

By Rebecca Stone July 23, 2019

It’s gotten to the point these days, that it might be hard to find dental technology that isn’t cordless. Available in everything from curing lights and obturation systems to intraoral cameras and ultrasonic scalers, cordless technology is an increasingly common choice for busy practitioners. Cordless devices tend to be quieter, lighter in weight, and more streamlined than their tethered counterparts, though just as powerful.1–3

These sleeker units owe their success in part to advancements in lithium ion batteries, which offer quick charging and quick discharge power, increased power density, extended life between charges, and lower cost. Improved ergonomics and safety are also part of the cordless equation.1,2

Not A Drag

Clinicians have long struggled with the problem of handpiece cords constraining movement. In fact, cord drag is thought to be responsible for increased muscle stress. Although the problem has been alleviated somewhat by the introduction of swivel capabilities on handpieces, it’s still reportedly common for clinicians to wrap cords around their wrists, fingers or nearby operatory furniture to improve mobility.3

But when there is no cord, there is no cord drag on hands and no cord to get tangled up in or trip over. Positioning is also easier for both patient and clinicians, for whom mobility is improved, allowing them to angle into tight spaces more easily. In fact, it’s been shown that cordless handpieces score high when compared to corded versions in maneuverability and comfort.3

Going Cordless Has Added Bonuses

In addition to its other benefits, lithium-ion battery technology has become safer through elimination or reduction of heat buildup and the risk of shorts (remember exploding cell phones?).

Cross-contamination risks may also be reduced with cordless options, as there is no need to worry about cords contacting contaminated surfaces or dragging through a patient’s hair. Some systems even feature wireless foot pedals for no-hands control.

Speed may also be a factor to weigh in when considering whether to go cordless. Results from one recent study comparing corded and non-corded handpieces suggest that for procedures such as polishing, the cordless version had a slight edge, completing the job 30 seconds faster than the corded options.3

And because they are portable, cordless devices can actually give you more bang for your buck, allowing easy sharing between operatories, and facilitating off-site practice. This can help improve access to treatment in your community.

Increasing Availability

Cordless iterations are becoming available for numerous dental technologies. Operatory must-haves, such as X-ray and obturation units, and magnetostrictive or piezoelectric ultrasonic devices, lasers, curing lights and intraoral scanners, are all enabling clinicians to practice unplugged.

While many clinicians are finding that cordless technologies improve practice efficiency, quality of care, and the bottom line, there is still a need to have a good isolation system for the kinds of treatments they are providing. Whether performing restorative dentistry or root canal treatment, the Isolite, Isovac or Isodry systems have your back. Offering quality soft-tissue retraction via a flexible mouthpiece with dual suction, these systems promote optimal patient comfort while giving practitioners a clear — safe — field of operation. When using corded or cordless technologies, the Isolite lineup will help you work faster, while obtaining predictable results.

With so many advantages offered by cordless technology, it’s no wonder more dental practitioners are cutting the cord.


  1. Stone R. Power surge. Mentor. 2017;8(12):14–18.
  2. Stone R. Life in the fast lane. Mentor. 2018:9(5):10–14.
  3. McCombs GB, Russell DM. Reducing muscle workload. Dimensions of Dental Hygiene.2016;14(04):24–29.