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Dental air compressors power much of modern dentistry. They filter air, eliminate bacteria, compress and store air and power many of a dentist’s tools. This is far from everything there is to know about dental air compressors, however. For instance, what’s the history behind dental air compressors? How does a dental air compressor work? What are the advantages of, for instance, a Cattani air compressor?


The history of dental air compressors

If you step back and think about it, the first air compressor ever used by human beings is the human lung. From there, more complex bellows were invented thousands of years ago with the aim being to take in air and produce a concentrated blast of airflow.

This is the same idea behind modern air compressors. Throughout the industrial revolution, bellows and air compressors grew increasingly sophisticated. Air compression continued to develop into the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, providing the public with new medical, recreational, and industrial uses.

Today, incredibly sophisticated dental air compressors power much of modern dentistry. While a current dental air compressor may seem like a far cry from ancient bellows used in smithwork, it still operates with the same goal in mind: to produce a compressed blast of air.

How dental air compressors work 

With the basic mechanical history aside, how do dental air compressors work today?

Dental air compressors are distinct from other air compressors in that they filter the air that they take in. This is achieved via an inline filtration system that is an integral part of the dental air compressor.

The filtration and compression process has several steps. First, the air is brought into the dental air compressor. Second, the filtration process lowers the dew point and removes impurities, leaving the dentist with clean, dry air. Lastly, this dry air is compressed, stored, and kept ready for future use.


The benefits of oil-free compressors

Not dental air compressors are created equal. There are two main types of dental air compressors: oil-lubricated and oil-free.

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An oil-lubricated dental air compressor requires more regular maintenance and frequent filter changes. They are much more likely to introduce complications such as contaminated air or oil vapor. This oil vapor can, in turn, negatively impact air compressor longevity as well as the health of dental practitioners and patients. 

As a result, many dentists rely on oil-free dental air compressors, as they are remarkably low-maintenance. 

They require fewer filter changes and are much more likely to regularly and reliably produce clean and dry air than oil-lubricated compressors. Cattani compressors from Cattani Compressors are excellent examples of quality oil-free compressors.


Choosing the right air compressor for your practice 

How do you know what air compressor specifications are right for you and your dental practice?

This answer largely boils down to the size and business of your practice and your specific needs. Generally speaking, budget one chair or 1.5 chairs per compressor cylinder. 

It’s better to have a slightly more powerful dental air compressor than necessary—constantly running your compressor at top-capacity is going to wear out your machine and will likely cost you more in the long term. 


Top dental air compressors

The Cattani AC100 is a reliable, trusted one-cylinder air compressor that can easily power a one-chair dental practice. It’s quiet, but if you’re particularly concerned about noise, you can choose the Cattani AC100Q, which has a noise-reduction cover. It also comes with a seven-year warranty.

Cattani Compressors also offers larger air compressors. For example, the Cattani AC300 is a remarkably efficient compressor that can power three or even four chairs with ease. This model also has a quieter counterpart, the Cattani AC300Q, which reduces the compressor’s noise by five decibels.  

Cattani compressors come in a number of sizes and models to accommodate the number of dental chairs you have in your practice.  



If you’re shopping for an air compressor, contact Cattani Compressors. As suppliers of Cattani compressors, we can answer your questions and help you find the right air compressor for your practice. Call us on (02) 8880 9257.