The supplies in the dental practice can be classified according to utilization and/or cost. These categories are: expendable items, non-expendable items, and capital items.
Expendable items, sometimes referred to as consumables and disposables, are items of relatively low cost that are disposable and used up quickly. In the treatment areas this may include items such as gauze, cotton rolls, cotton swabs and saliva ejectors. It also includes minor dental instruments such as mouth mirrors and burs. In the administrative area, these may include copier paper, post-it notes, stationary and envelopes.
Non-expendable items are smaller pieces of equipment or instruments retained in the practice for longer periods of time and replaced when the item is worn out or broken. Such items would include: autoclaves, curing lights, laser printers, calculators and fax machines.
Capital items are the costlier items found in the dental practice that will depreciate in value over five to ten years and include: dental chairs, computers, intraoral cameras and air compressors.