What are considerations for selecting major dental equipment?

When selecting dental equipment, research the manufacturer of the brand of equipment you are considering to determine 1) the stability of the company and 2) if they provide good customer support for their equipment. Also ask dentists and dental equipment repair services about the reliability and durability of the brand of equipment you are considering.

Patient Chairs

  • Stable base and lift mechanism (hydraulic type is quieter than screw drive type)
  • Seamless and removable upholstery for easy cleaning/repair (all-vinyl is recommended, because it can withstand disinfection procedures)
  • Adjustable headrest for patient comfort and operator visibility
  • Ergonomic contoured design
  • Good lumbar support for patient comfort
  • Movable armrests for easy patient access and wheelchair transfers
  • Auto preset positioning and auto return with safety stop
  • Right/left convertibility
  • Foot controls or a touch pad to adjust the chair position

Dental Units

  • At least one fiber optic high-speed outlet (two is ideal, to prevent “down time” in the event of malfunction)
  • One fiber optic low-speed outlet
  • Smooth snap-on/off handpiece connectors for efficient operation and sterilization of handpieces
  • Handpiece flush system for infection control
  • Non-ribbed tubing for easy cleaning/disinfection
  • Anti-retraction valves for infection control
  • Quick connect/disconnect, sterilizable high- and low-volume evacuators
    and 3-way syringes for efficient operation and sterilization
  • Self-contained water purification system for infection control
  • Right/left convertibility

Dental Handpieces

  • This is what is commonly called a “dental drill.” Handpieces are air-powered or electronically powered rotary instruments that are used to cut or polish teeth.
  • A clinic needs both high-speed handpieces and low-speed handpieces for general dentistry. If the clinic plans to provide oral surgery services, it will need surgery handpieces. Handpieces are equipped with a wide range of attachments that are purchased separately. Since handpieces and/or their attachments must be sterilized after being used, the number needed by a facility is determined by the method they will use to sterilize them.
  • Faster sterilization requires less handpieces. As a general rule you will need 4 high-speed handpieces per operatory and 4 slow-speed attachments that are used regularly for each operatory. The exact number will depend on the number of patients treated per hour per operatory and the handpiece sterilization time of the sterilization equipment you select. Dental handpieces are expensive so make sure enough funds are included in your start-up budget.

Operator and Assistant Stools

  • Metal frame with 5-legged base for stability
  • Double wheel castors (need tile castors, not carpet castors, for hard floors)
  • Gas cylinder for height adjustment
  • Easily reached height adjustment lever or paddle
  • Seat pan tilt adjustment
  • Multi-density padding for comfort
  • Seamless upholstery for easy cleaning
  • The stools for the dentist and dental assistant are different, with the dental assistant stool having foot and arm rest








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