What to look for when buying a dental delivery system


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The delivery system plays a critical role in reducing or eliminating the number and extent of motions you must perform at chairside. Two factors play a significant role in reducing your stress and fatigue:
• Economy of motion
• Ability to see

Consider while you shop:
• Does the delivery system accommodate technology integration?
• Does the delivery system provide a range of motion, such as, left or right positioning?
• Does the delivery system provide a choice of delivery preference?

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What to look for when buying a dental delivery system

  1. 1. 1 For further information visit www.a-dec .com.au or follow us on @A_decAust What to look for when buying a dental delivery system? The delivery system plays a critical role in reducing or eliminating the number and extent of motions you must perform at chairside. Two factors play a significant role in reducing your stress and fatigue:  Economy of motion  Ability to see Consider while you shop:  Does the delivery system accommodate technology integration?  Does the delivery system provide a range of motion, such as, left or right positioning?  Does the delivery system provide a choice of delivery preference? Because the delivery system plays such a critical role in your treatment room, and includes several components, the following article has been organized into the following key categories:  Delivery System Control Head  Handpiece Controls and Syringe  Delivery System Arm  Touchpads  Assistant’s Instrumentation  Cuspidors  Ancillary Housing DELIVERY SYSTEM CONTROL HEAD When you look at delivery systems, ask: Q. Does the delivery system allow for integration of ancillary equipment? A. Look for a delivery system that can accommodate the integration of several ancillary pieces of equipment such as, two electric motors, intra-oral camera, scaler and curing light. Even if you are not integrating these items now, how easy is it to add or replace them in the future? You’ll likely have your equipment for 12-15 years or more, yet ancillary technology is changing more rapidly. Look for a delivery system that has space to accommodate ancillary equipment in the control head and arms that are large enough with removable covers to easily run the required cabling or power cords so that you can add or replace
  2. 2. 2 For further information visit www.a-dec .com.au or follow us on @A_decAust ancillary items easily in the future. A delivery system that enables ancillary integration also will:  Allow you to prepare for unexpected future needs  Provide integrated items at chairside, within arms reach  Eliminate hanging attachments, from the bottom or side of the control head, which may impede control head positioning. Q. Does the control head have multiple pivot points? A. When accessing handpieces, multiple pivot points offer more angles for accurate and easier control head positioning. Q. Is there a control head pivot point? A. A centre pivot provides greater control head rotation and positioning flexibility. In addition, you’ll be able to maneuver tight spaces and better angle the control head in relation to the patient’s head. Q. Does the system support a solo operator? A. Instrument and handpiece positioning is even more important to the solo practitioner. All handpieces, ancillary devices and vacuum instruments should be within easy reach of the seated operator. Q. Do you have a choice of control head designs styles? A. No one design style works for all operators. A-dec for instance offers the Traditional or Continental style control heads. Choice is essential. Q. Why is handpiece tubing position on a Continental control head important? A. Handpiece tubings that connect and pivot from the back of the unit are located further away from the patient (used only in a trans-thorax position above the patient’s chest). On the other hand, front-positioned handpiece tubings:  Place the instruments closer to the oral cavity  Create more work space  Eliminate pull-back on the handpiece resulting in less fatigue  Offer better ergonomics  Allow you to return handpieces and other instruments without taking focus away from the oral cavity (Continental delivery)
  3. 3. 3 For further information visit www.a-dec .com.au or follow us on @A_decAust Q. Are the Continental style handpiece tubings arranged in a fan shape? A. The fan shape allows you to draw all handpieces to the oral cavity with a true straight- line pull, so the direction of travel is always toward the work area. CONSIDER WHILE YOU SHOP  Does the Continental style control head still provide sufficient room to install transformers, low voltage power sources and control modules?  Is there a removable back piece on the individual handpiece tubing guide to make the tubing replacement easy, or is the guide a tube or channel Q. Does the handle design allow easy positioning of the control head? A. Since the control head is positioned before treatment and often repositioned during the procedure, look for handles that:  Are available on each side of the control head, and incorporate an air brake on each side, to lock the control head in place once positioned.  Are angled to allow a natural positioning of the wrist when your arm is extended.  You can remove from the left or right side, providing a cleaner line of view for the patient. Q. Are multiple tray size and mounting options available on the delivery system? A. Multiple tray size and mounting options satisfy every operators requirements – one size doesn’t necessarily fit all. Q. How much weight can the control head tray handle? A. The tray on the control head should adequately hold up to 3.6kg of instruments and other material without causing the control head to drift or damaging the tray holder. Q. Does the delivery system meet your needs for additional time- saving features? A. The A-dec 500 provides the ability to remotely control ancillary devices such as, a call system, light, bitewing viewer and other items. This feature enables control of several devices at your finger tips, through se of the deluxe touchpad, and reduces touchpoints for contamination. CONSIDER WHILE YOU SHOP
  4. 4. 4 For further information visit www.a-dec .com.au or follow us on @A_decAust  How easy is it to level the control head?  Can you level the tray independent of the control head?  Does the control head maintain its vertical position when the brake is off? HANDPIECE CONTROLS AND SYRINGE Q. Are there individual handpiece air and water adjustments? A. Individual air and water adjustments for each handpiece enable you to accommodate the needs of various handpieces and procedures. A system with only one water valve limits you to one setting for all handpieces. Q. Are there removable air and water adjustment knobs? A. Adjustment knobs are a cross-contamination point. Knobs that are easy to remove, clean and sterilize are preferable. Some operators may want to remove and store the knobs once the water coolant settings are established, making a delivery system surface that’s easy to wipe over throughout the workday. Q. Does the delivery system have a safety feature that prohibits chair movement if the handpiece is activated? A. Looks for this safety feature that automatically stops the chair movement in the event that the handpiece is in operation. Q. What size is the control block assembly? A. A large assembly reflects a more robust design. With larger ports and moving parts and seals, the blockages and failures of small delicate seals are virtually eliminated. Q. Is the control block unitized? A. Older control blocks can have up to 12 gaskets: a unitized block has just one. Fewer components require less seals and gaskets, eliminating potential leaks and the need for maintenance gaskets between blocks. A unitized block also accommodated standard features such as integration of ancillaries. Q. What size is the air supply tubing to the control block? A. Larger tubing such as 5/16” diameter (7.938 mm), provides superior airflow for higher handpiece torque. Increased airflow to the handpieces results in more power and durability.
  5. 5. 5 For further information visit www.a-dec .com.au or follow us on @A_decAust Q. Can you repair a water valve by replacing a single water cartridge? A. Most systems require replacement of the entire control block in the event of a water leak. Replacing a single cartridge to repair a leak is quick and easy, minimizing down time. Q. Does the foot control modulate the handpiece smoothly? A. The foot control should vary the handpiece speed in a smooth and controlled manner. It will be difficult to achieve precision results with a foot control that produces erratic speeds. Q. When returning the handpiece to the holder, does the weight of the handpiece and tubing automatically turn off the handpiece? A. It should not take extra effort to push the handpiece into the holder, or remove it. It’s also important that the handpiece properly seat itself in the holder with its own weight so that when you attempt to use another handpiece, the one left in the holder isn’t unintentionally activated. Q. Does the delivery system feature silicone handpiece tubings? A. Silicone jacketed handpiece tubing increases handpiece flexibility and stain resistance. This tubing is very light and will not harden over time, allowing it to consistency follow the natural movement of you hand. Q. How many handpieces or ancillary devices can you operate with a single foot control? A. If you integrate a camera, electric motors, or a scaler, along with handpieces on your delivery system, you’ll want to ensure that you can operate all devices from a single foot control. Q. Does the delivery system accommodate a warm water syringe? A. Your patients will thank you for this one: especially those with sensitive teeth. A warm water syringe provides a pleasant, comforting experience. It should maintain a consistent temperature range that assures comfort during all procedures, from hygiene to lengthier treatments. Q. Does the syringe retract water back into the tip? A. Syringes, handpieces, scalers etc., have a single common source. If any of thee instruments retract oral cavity fluids back into the system, all are contaminated. Look for syringes that offer a non-retraction feature.
  6. 6. 6 For further information visit www.a-dec .com.au or follow us on @A_decAust Q. Can you lock the syringe tip in place or allow it to swivel freely? A. A good syringe design provides the flexibility to meet the needs of a given procedure. Locking the syringe tip tightly in place helps facilitate cheek retraction, while letting it swivel freely improves access to certain areas of the oral cavity. CONSIDER WHILE YOU SHOP  For ease of replacement, are there quick disconnects for handpiece tubing at the control block  Is the water adjustment to the handpiece fine or coarse?  Does the control head have adjustable handpiece holders to angle handpieces at your preferred position?  Can you place a fiber-optic handpiece on a non-fiber-optic tubing? A-dec allows you to do so.  Does the 3-way syringe have easy air and water flow control, or simply an On/Off control?  Do the syringe tips have a visible indicator that insures proper installation?  Is the shape of the syringe such that it’s easy to bag for barrier protection, easy to clean and easy to autoclave? DELIVERY SYSTEM ARM Q. Does the delivery system arm allow for easy integration of future replacement or ancillary equipment? A. A delivery system arm must be large enough to route power cables for ancillary devices and/or monitors. Choose a delivery system with removable arm covers to enable easy addition or replacement of devices without cutting wires or fastening them to the outside of the arm. Q. Does the system arm have rotation stops? A. Rotation stops are important for safety and functionality. To test for them:  Swing the arm through its full range of motion to see if it collides with itself or the light post.  Move the flexarm section up and down to see if it “scissors” against the rigid arm section. Built-in stops prevent the arm from damaging itself and having multiple turns, which can twist and damage internal tubing in the process.
  7. 7. 7 For further information visit www.a-dec .com.au or follow us on @A_decAust Q. Does the arm using bushings at the pivot points? A. In general, needle bearings or self-lubricating bronze bushings provide the longest product lifespan. Plastic bushings tend to deform and become sloppy after minimal use. Q. Are the bushings precision-fit? A. Loose bushings affect unit stability. To check:  Extend the arm to its full length  Lock the arm brake  Lift the control head The unit should remain stable and level with little or no slack. CONSIDER WHILE YOU SHOP  Are there friction adjustments on flexing control arms  How do you adjust the balance of the flexarm? TOUCHPADS Q. What functions are you able to operate from the touchpad? A. A touchpad is about user-friendly operation. It should be intuitive and have direct access to functions, rather than requiring you to navigate through layers of menus to find what you want. Look for operation of the following functions:  Chair  Light  Cuspidor bowl rinse and cupfill  Electric motors  Scaler  Pre-set positions for multiple operators  Remote functions Q. Does the touchpad have a sealed face? A. A sealed face protects the touchpad’s internal parts from liquid. If you can easily peel or remove the touchpad face, liquids will seep underneath and cause damage.
  8. 8. 8 For further information visit www.a-dec .com.au or follow us on @A_decAust Q. is the touchpad’s viewing angle and brightness adjustable? A. An adjustable contrast allows you to position the touchpad to accommodate easy viewing from different angles. Q. Does the touchpad design allow for easy upgrading, repair or replacement? A. A touchpad that is a separate piece can be upgraded and easily repaired, ensuring that equipment does not become obsolete due to touchpad limitations Q. Is the touchpad easy to cover and clean? A. Look for a touchpad design that allows barrier protection and has a smooth finish for easy cleaning. ASSISTANTS INSTRUMENTATION Principle elements that you should consider include:  Instrument positioning  Visual contact with the oral cavity  Transfer of instruments  Range of motion  Integration Q. How is your assistant’s instrumentation positioned? A. Look for a flexible arm with multiple swivel and pivot points for excellent positioning capability. Q. Is there an optimal delivery point for assistant’s instrumentation in the treatment room? A. Well designed, chair mounted assistant’s instrumentation helps the assistant reduce twisting and reaching from behind. The optimal delivery point for any assistant’s instruments is the 12 o’clock position. Additionally rotating worksurfaces allow for even more convenient instrument positioning. The A-dec 541/545 round worksurface offers the advantage of additional workspace over the typical rectangular worksurface. The mobile worksurface:
  9. 9. 9 For further information visit www.a-dec .com.au or follow us on @A_decAust  Provides vertical and horizontal movement for limitless positioning, allowing ample knee space for the assistant.  Reduces uncomfortable posture and excessive reaching  Allows the treatment team to work more efficiently Q. Are there alternative holder options and configurations? A. Alternative holder options and configurations offer choices that maximize efficient dental team workflow. Additional holder assemblies allow mounting of ancillary items, such as, the curing light and other devices. Q. Is the assistant’s delivery arm adjustable? A. Height adjustment accommodates more operators by increasing the range of available instrument positions.  Height adjustment should provide a range of 12 inches (300mm) from the arm’s lowest to highest position. This lets the assistant adjust the arm to easily accommodate a stand-up or seated procedure.  Lateral adjustment allows the assistant to reach close along the chair back and headrest in a forward, backward and side-to-side movement, for easy instrument positioning and access. Q. Does the assistant’s delivery support flexible positioning? A. Flexible positioning enables optimal instrument placement for 2 and 4 handed dentistry, while also placing the assistant’s delivery instruments within the peripheral vision when working solo. For example, swiveling holders allow the assistant to independently position the syringe, vacuum instruments and other devices where they are most comfortable and accessible, without interfering with instrument transfer or visual or physical oral cavity access. Q. Does the assistant’s side have a touchpad? A. There are two advantages to an assistant’s side touchpad:  The assistant can control major functions (light On/Off, composite settings, cuspidor cupfill and bowl rinse and chair positioning), allowing you to maintain focus on the oral cavity.  The touchpad serves as a handle for positioning the assistant’s instruments. Q. How sturdy is the vacuum tubing?
  10. 10. 10 For further information visit www.a-dec .com.au or follow us on @A_decAust A. Tubing that kinks and collapses results in the loss of vacuum pull. Look for tubing such as A-dec’s, which is designed with a spring in the lining that keeps the vacuum line open while in use. Q. Does the HVE valve feature a swivel joint and debris screen at the tubing connection point? A. It is important that a swivel joint:  Prevents the tubing from twisting  Allows easy access to hard-to-reach areas of the oral cavity.  Provides flexibility and efficiency by eliminating excessive wrist movement. CUSPIDORS Q. Is the cuspidor bowl material designed to prolong appearance? A. Vitreous china bowls clean up quickly and easily. This extremely hard material maintains a lifelong appearance that resists stains and will not become absorbent. Glass bowls are removable, easy to clean and extremely resistant to staining. Q. Is the cuspidor chair mounted? A. A chair-mounted cuspidor bowl remains at a constant height in relation to the patient, even when the chair changes position up and down. Q. Does the bowl rinse shut off automatically? A. There are three different types of bowl rinse controls:  Constant On/Off – Usually left on for convenience. It consumes water unnecessarily and makes continuous noise.  Momentary On/Off – Must be held on manually, tying up the assistant for the time it takes to rinse the bowl  Timed, Automatic control – Lets you adjust the rinse time to suit your needs. Conveniently activated by a single touch or the toggle or button, it shuts off automatically. Q. Does the touchpad control cuspidor functions? A. Doctor and assistant touchpad controls should be able to run cuspidor functions, such as bowl rinse and cupfill.
  11. 11. 11 For further information visit www.a-dec .com.au or follow us on @A_decAust Q. What other features does the cuspidor include? A. Consider features that add to your productivity and enhance patient comfort, such as:  Programmable automatic shut off for bowl rinse and cupfill  Cleanable and removable bowl and rinse spouts Q. Is the strainer in the cuspidor bowl designed for optimal drainage, easy maintenance and optimal life? A. Here’s what to look for:  Is it metal or plastic? Metal corrodes, plastic will not  Is it easy to remove the strainer without ever toughing the debris? Q. Does the rinse water cover the entire bowl when you run the bowl rinse? A. It should. A properly directed rinse carries debris down the drain. Bowls that have dry spots must be hand-rinsed. ANCILLARY HOUSING Q. What are the ancillary housing features? A. A few things to consider:  Look for a system with the option to purchase an ancillary housing or easily add it later.  Check how the system handles access to plumbing, electrical wiring and routing channels.  Ask about the ability to integrate a vacuum drain valve, ancillary devices and amalgam collection devices.