Organizing your dental tools can shave seconds or minutes off of each appointment. At first glance, that may not sound like much.
However, multiply those seconds and minutes over a week, month, or year, and they add up quickly. In a competitive environment, simple organizational improvement can help you operate at peak efficiency without sacrificing quality customer service. In addition, efficient organization helps eliminate stress. A huge part of this process is having your dental tools organized where they can be easily reached.
Six tips on how to organize your dental tools for maximum efficiency
1. Regularly check to be sure dental tools in the sterilization area are organized.
It’s easy to simply get the job done and forget to organize. However, ensuring that the right dental tools are immediately available will go a long way toward helping your dental practice’s overall efficiency. Of course, all expired products must be disposed as per state and federal laws, but you should also consider getting rid of products/pieces you never use, which will free available space for more common items.
2. Avoid storing dental tools on countertops.
Only store items where they are meant to be stored. For example, placing procedure tubs on countertops in treatment rooms is not efficient, and it often this makes it harder to find smaller products and missing instruments.
3. Implement color coding.
There are few things more frustrating than searching through tubs to be sure you have the right dental tools for each process. You can color code your tubs according to the type of procedure. This increases efficiency—you will automatically know that blue tubs are for fillings, for example. It also greatly reduces stress, particularly on busy days.
4. Use instrument cassettes.
This can dramatically increase efficiency by placing all items needed to set up for the procedure in one location. These cassettes can then be customized according to each dentist’s preferences. While these cassettes may seem bulky, they will ultimately save you time in the long run because you will be assured that you will not need to search for dental tools at the last minute.
5. Organize your burs.
A series of random burs in storage blocks make it harder for the dentist to find what he or she is looking for, so it’s important to ensure that every type needed is available. It’s also useful to place every bur needed on the dentist’s side of the patient. In addition, you should also consider using a bur storage cabinet designed so you can tell at one glance which products need to be reordered or replaced.
6. Be sure to keep your instruments sharp.
Using a dull dental tool slows the procedure and can produce less than satisfactory results. Always be sure that your cassettes and tubs have new or sharpened instruments. It’s also useful to have an area designated for tools that need to be sharpened so you never select a dull one by mistake.
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