What Are the Special Storage Requirements for Dental Supplies and Tools?

When it comes to dental supplies and tools, it's important to know what special storage requirements are necessary. For each item, you should record the type, brand, material, quantity, price, expiration date, location, and any special storage requirements. Sterile instruments and supplies should be stored in covered or closed cabinets and should never be placed under sinks or in other areas where they can get wet. Before opening and using wrapped packages of sterilized instruments, inspect them to make sure the packaging has not been compromised.

Sterile dental instruments are used in a variety of dental procedures and must be handled safely and correctly to protect both the patient and the doctor. Inadequate handling of sterile supplies can lead to cross-contamination and the spread of diseases. Whether you're a dentist, hygienist or assistant, it's essential that you properly handle these tools to keep you and your patients safe. If the purchased dental unit does not include an air compressor, a separate unit will need to be purchased.

Dry, oil-free air is important for all dental procedures and is essential for the proper application and retention of dental sealants. Most compressors used in dental offices have dryers to ensure that the air used for dental procedures is free of moisture and oil. When buying dental healing lamps, consider their characteristics, the power density and energy supplied to the tooth and the dental sealant material, the time needed to polymerize the sealant, the availability of accessories, the shape and angle of the tip of the light and the energy source used to power the light. Bright dental lights are important for school dental sealant programs, because the lighting in the room where the program is located may be poor.

Through automated systems, dental providers can provide customers with reports that summarize the costs of products and supplies throughout the year. This is a useful tool for budgeting. If there is enough space in the vehicle used to transport equipment, small, lightweight stools that aren't specifically designed for portable dental programs can be purchased from dental service providers. School dental sealant programs have a variety of sealant materials to choose from (see the types of sealants in the Selecting Materials for Dental Sealants section).

If photopolymerizing sealants are used, a dental healing lamp will need to be purchased. Capital supplies are large, expensive items that are rarely replaced such as computers, sterilizers, and dental units. Because staff in school dental sealant programs rarely face circumstances similar to those present in operating rooms and because of the high risk of instrument contamination, sudden sterilization is not recommended in school dental sealant programs. If a school dental sealant program decides to use reusable instruments, only sterilizers manufactured for medical or dental instruments and supplies should be used to ensure proper sterilization.

School dental sealant programs do not need to use handheld devices as evidence-based recommendations support using unfilled dental sealants and toothbrush prophylaxis. The three most commonly used dental lamps in school dental sealant programs are halogen, fiber-optic lamps and light-emitting diode (LED) lamps. In some dental offices, it's up to the hygienist to order supplies related to preventive practice areas. Non-expendable supplies are reusable items that don't constitute a major expense; this category includes most dental instruments.

Marvin Palmateer
Marvin Palmateer

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