Strategies for Conserving Motion

Emphasis on modifying motion economy should be given to eliminating Class IV or V motions.

Motion economy should be the primary consideration when purchasing and positioning dental equipment since this concept reduces or eliminates the number and length of motions used during basic treatment procedures. To improve motion economy at chair side, consider the following suggestions:

1. Decrease the number of instruments used for a procedure by maximizing the use of each one for multiple functions.
Decrease number of instruments
2. Position the instruments on a preset tray/cassette in the sequence that they will be used.
Instrument position
3. Position instruments, materials, and equipment in advance, whenever possible.
Advance placement of instruments
4. Have back up supplies and larger armamentarium located in easy reach to avoid Class V motion or the need to leave the operative site.
Back-up supplies Additional supplies
5. Place the armamentarium on a mobile cart as close to the patient as possible.
6. Place the patient in a supine position.
patient supine position
7. Seat the operating team as close to the patient as possible.
position of operating team
8. Place the assistant’s legs parallel to the patient chair to ensure the assistant is close to the patient and will not need to reach.
9. Use operating stools that promote good posture and provide back and abdominal support that adjusts vertically and horizontally.
operating stools
10. When using a microscope maintain good posture and allow the assistant access to the transfer zone.
microscope usage
11. Provide work areas that are 1 to 2 inches below the elbow. Notice, too, the business assistant’s thighs are parallel to the floor regardless of the height of the stool.
work areas
work area below elbows

12. Minimize the number of eye movements between the close and brightly lit operating field and more distant objects in the treatment room with lower illumination.

13. Reduce the length and number of motions made by the operator and the dental assistant to accomplish routine and repetitive tasks.

14. Use smooth continuous motions and avoid distracting zigzag movement.