Purchasing equipment is a long-term investment that must ensure good ergonomics and safe practice for the dental team. Many dental manufacturers continue to produce dental units using designs of decades past that include bracket trays and extension arms that cause undue stretching. Bracket trays promote the division of instrumentation between the assistant’s preset tray and the bracket tray resulting in a scattering of the instruments during a dental procedure. This causes delays in finding and retrieving instruments by both the operator and the assistant and creates an unattractive image for the patient. Fortunately, the use of cuspidors, that long ago took much patient time and was a challenge for infection control are disappearing from the dental treatment room.
The dental professional of today must be astute to look for equipment that will maximize productivity and reduce stress to the operating team. It is important to consider patient comfort, but it is unwise to sacrifice operating team comfort, when the team must endure hours of equipment use, for an hour of patient comfort during a single appointment. Considering the following list of equipment criteria will be helpful in creating an ergonomically sound work environment through the selection of favorable dental equipment. If the equipment fails to meet one or more of these criteria, then it would benefit the purchaser to search for dental equipment that does meet this criteria.