Many dental teams claim they practice four‑handed dentistry, yet they still suffer the results of physical stress due to the use of inappropriate equipment and techniques that fall short of meeting the basic tenets of the true four‑handed dentistry concept. Dentists can still be observed changing their own burs, reaching for an instrument, refocusing their eyes after looking away, or twisting and turning to reach equipment on their side of the chair. If the clinical assistant is not in charge of all instrument transfers, and the equipment is not within reach of the assistant, true four‑handed dentistry cannot be practiced.
The application of these concepts must not be overlooked in the dental business office. Though this course is designed primarily for the clinical area of the dental practice, business assistants should take time to evaluate their movement and efficiency practices possibly finding many of these principles easily applied to the business office.
The concept of true four‑handed dentistry is based on a set of criteria that define the conditions under which efficiency can be attained. To practice true four‑handed dentistry, the following criteria must be met:2