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Community-Based Dental Care: An Alternative Approach to Improve Access to Dental Providers

Course Number: 552

Equipment and Supplies

Purchasing initial equipment and supplies can be a time-consuming task. The team must consider the needs of the population, the services that will be provided, and space available. There are a large variety of portable delivery systems/units. Table 3 lists the equipment the team may need. When selecting a system, the team must consider the water supply (internal or external), the air compressor (built in or a separate unit), the suction (high speed and/or low speed), what kind of hand pieces will be used, and the amount of noise that is acceptable. Table 4 lists the disposable supplies that may be needed for providing prophylaxis, radiographs, exams, and sealants. The disposable supplies are not much different than those needed in a private practice operatory. The team should have a routine maintenance schedule to prevent malfunctions and a repair plan in place for quality control.

Photo showing example of wheelchair recline platform in use.

Example of wheelchair recline platform in use.

Source: University of Missouri Kansas City School of Dentistry

Table 3. Equipment.

Technology and Operatory Equipment
  • Portable delivery system/unit
  • Portable light or headband light
  • Portable chair and carrying case
  • Operator stool and carrying case
  • Wheel chair lift
Radiographs and Digital Imaging
  • Handheld extra oral x-ray (Nomad)
  • Positioning stand w/remote activation
  • Carrying case
  • Digital scanner, eraser, and phosphor plates
  • Lead apron
  • Laptop computer w/software
  • Intraoral camera
  • Digital camera for extraoral photos
Scaling Handpieces
  • Ultrasonic scaler
  • Ultrasonic scaler inserts
  • Slow speed handpieces
  • Roto Quicks handpieces
Prophylaxis and Exam
  • Mirror (price figured by adding handle + mirror)
  • Shepherd’s Hook Explorer
  • 11/12 Explorer
  • Probe
  • Scaling instruments
  • Air/Water Syringe tips
  • Curing light unit
  • Dental sealant applicator handle
  • Titurator (if placing Glass Ionomer sealants)
  • Autoclave w/cassette
  • Ultrasonic Cleaner w/powder
  • Sterilization Maintenance/ Service and Strips (monthly)
  • Electronic health record or practice management software
  • Consent forms
  • Tablet
  • Printer
  • Ethernet cord
  • Extension cord/Surge Protector
  • Rubbermaid organizers
  • Rubbermaid storage totes
  • Adult and/or child Blood pressure cuffs
  • Stethoscope
  • Napkin Clip/Metal chain
  • Mouth props
  • Patient mirrors (handheld)
  • Fans
  • Safety glasses
  • Syringe

Table 4. Disposable Supplies.

Prophylaxis Supplies
  • Prophy angle
  • Prophy paste
  • Fluoride varnish
  • Silver diamine fluoride (SDF)
  • 2x2 gauze
  • Floss
  • Saliva ejector
  • Patient napkin
  • Infection control barrier wraps
  • Sterilization bags
  • Clinician mask
  • Clinician gloves
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Disclosing solution
  • Medicine cups
Radiograph Supplies
  • Phosphor plate film sleeves
  • Disposable bitewing tabs
  • Cotton Rolls/Dri-Angles
  • Sealant material
  • Etchant
  • Primer
Photo showing example of supply storage.

Example of supply storage.

Source: University of Missouri Kansas City School of Dentistry