Press Release

NSK Develops QuickStopBearing™ for Air Turbine Dental Handpieces

Improving Efficiency and Safety in Dental Procedures

NSK Ltd. has developed the QuickStopBearing for air turbine handpieces, a type of dental instrument commonly used by dentists around the world. NSK's new QuickStopBearing has an innovative design that can improve the treatment efficiency and safety of air-driven dental instruments.

NSK is targeting 500 million yen in sales of QuickStopBearing by 2030.

NSK Develops QuickStopBearing for Air Turbine Dental Handpieces


Air turbine handpieces are used to drill away cavities and can easily cut through teeth. While in the patient's mouth, the handpiece can spin at the incredibly high speed of 400,000 rpm and the tip of the tool must come to a complete stop before it is removed from the mouth to avoid injuring the patient.

It takes a few seconds for conventional handpieces to come to a stop, during which the handpiece cannot be removed from the mouth, hindering the dentist's treatment efficiency. When the air supply is stopped, a negative pressure inside the head of the handpiece causes “suck back” in which substances in the mouth (saliva, tooth fragments, blood, etc.) are sucked into the tool.

To reduce suck back, some handpiece makers have added a brake structure in the air turbine to shorten the time until rotation stops and suppress the suck back phenomenon. However, the complexity of the brake structure results in a larger head and higher costs.


NSK's QuickStopBearing incorporates a special rubber seal that opens and closes depending on whether air is passing through the bearing, thereby reducing the time until the air turbine stops rotating and preventing suck back.

When the air supply is turned on, the rubber seal opens (floats) and the bearing can rotate as fast as 400,000 rpm, the same speed as conventional air turbine handpiece bearings.

When the air supply is stopped, the bearing's rubber seal makes immediate contact with the inner ring, which stops inertial rotation in a short time and seals the bearing, preventing suck back.

Note that the quick stop and anti-suck-back functionality can be achieved simply by replacing the bearing in an existing handpiece.



  • Improve safety and treatment efficiency by shortening the time to stop rotation.
  • Prevent suck back, thereby contributing to preventing the spread of infectious diseases (nosocomial infections) and extending the service life of air turbine handpieces.
  • Improve functionality simply by swapping the bearing in an existing handpiece.
  • Reduce the cost of manufacturing air turbine handpiece heads compared to air turbine handpiece heads with brake structures.
  • Reduce the size of air turbine handpiece heads compared to air turbine handpiece heads with brake structures.

About NSK

NSK began its journey manufacturing the first bearings in Japan in 1916, and has since developed into a global organization researching, designing, and manufacturing Motion & Control™ solutions essential for mobility and industrial applications. NSK is the top supplier of bearings in Japan and is the third largest supplier in the world by market share.

Our responsive products and technologies enhance automotive performance and industrial productivity while reducing energy consumption to unprecedented low levels. In the early 1960s, we set our sights outside Japan and have established over 200 business locations in 30 countries alongside a vast network of joint ventures and partnerships in all corners of the world.

NSK Corporate Philosophy

NSK contributes to a safer, smoother society and helps protect the global environment through its innovative technology integrating Motion & Control. As a truly international enterprise, we are working across national boundaries to improve relationships between people throughout the world.