Practice Tip #80: 5 Simple Things to Keep Your Equipment Working Well

Over time you have learned the ins and outs of your dental office but how efficient are you at making sure your dental equipment is working properly Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind when it comes to your daily routines

1 KEEP IT CLEAN

Dirt dust and debris can wreak havoc on dentalequipment Change your filters see Practice Tip 60 regularly remove dirt soil and debris from surfaces For infection controlsee Practice Tip 76 use barriers instead of disinfectants when possible Harsh disinfectants can damage equipment long term

2 STERILIZE WHEN POSSIBLE

On a related note if something can be heat sterilized do it Dont just disinfect In general heat sterilization is much less harmful to instruments than disinfectants provided the item is designed to withstand high heat of course Additionally if sterilizing you do not need to disinfect Choose one and only one method of infection control to use

For the CDC guide to disinfection and sterilization guidelines see HERE We dedicate Practice Tip 83 to streamlining your sterilization center

3 USE AS DIRECTED

Within reason avoid off label use of instruments and equipment The precision instruments you use to practice dentistry are engineered to perform specific tasks and in specific ways Using instruments other than as directed may put undue strain on components leading to premature wear and failure

For example keep your handpiece drive air pressure at or below 40 psi and avoid excessive side loads see Practice Tip 22 on the bur Increased drive air pressure or leaning into a bur may shorten a given procedure but these things will also shorten turbine life

4 KEEP SPARES ON HAND

There are many items that simply wear out with time and do need replacing Things like light bulbs fuses and orings are common wear and tear items that you should always have on hand When youre down to the last one order more A room shouldnt be down because a bulb has burned out

5 BE OBSERVANT

Keep your eyes and ears open Know your equipment and be familiar with its appearance and sounds Take note if things dont look or sound right Unusual sounds or appearance can be the first sign of a developing problem If possible take the item out of service until you can resolve the problem or at least determine if there is one

      These five simple steps will keep your dental practice running and your equipment working Our practice tips are designed to help you enhance your dental equipment knowledge and give you the assistance you need to maintain your equipment If you want to see past practice tips check out our archive

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