When a handpiece and bur are used to remove bone, it is essential that the area be irrigated with a steady stream of irrigating solution, usually sterile saline. THe irrigation cools the bur and’ prevents bone-damaging heat buildup. The irrigation also ncreases the efficiency of the bur by washing away bone chips from the flutes of the bur and by providing a certain amount of lubrication. In addition, once a surgical procedure iscompleted and before the mucoperiosteal flap is sutured back into position, the surgical field should be irrigated thoroughly with saline. A large plastic syringe with a blunt 18-gauge needle is used for irrigation purposes. Although the syringe is disposable, it can be sterilized multiple times before it must be discarded. The needle should be blunt and smooth so that it does not damage soft tissue, and it should be angled for more efficient direction of the irrigating stream (Fig. 6-34, A and B).

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