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May 25, 2011
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In previous issues of Practice Tips we’ve discussed the importance of routine maintenance to keep your equipment running well. We’ve had dedicated issues on Handpieces, X-Ray processors, and Sterilizers.
This month, we’re going to run through everything in the office on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual basis to give you a master check-list for office-wide maintenance.
Naturally, this list should not be considered all-inclusive and there will be variations depending on what equipment you use.
At the beginning of the day:
At the end of the day:
Light bulbs for operating lights and curing lights
Filters for air and water lines
Replacement screens/traps for central vacuum
Fuses for chairs, sterilizer, processor, etc.
Hydraulic fluid (if you have hydraulic chairs)
Have a back-up plan in case of failure of compressor, vacuum or sterilizer. Having a smaller secondary unit on hand that can be “hot-swapped” temporarily can keep you up and running.
Have a contingency plan in case of failure of computer system.
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Excellent comprehensive checklist. Thank you for concentrating on sterilizer upkeep. The mouth is the dirtiest part of the human body and having a sterilizer that has been adequately maintained, in my opinion is the core of a safe dental office.
Thanks for reading and commenting!
We agree on the importance of a properly functioning sterilizer to the dental office. Proper maintenance is the first step in keeping your sterilizer running well. Without it, handpieces, instruments, or none of your other vital equipment can be properly sterilized.
Have you seen some of our other posts on sterilizers? We'd love to hear what you think!
[...] Dental supports this initiative and reminds you of the importance of routine maintenance to keep your units working well (and free from [...]
perfect description. but i need to ask what is the importance of the "solenoid"?
i would appreciate any help on this matter
Thanks for the thoughtful question. A solenoid allows you to shut the water off to the entire office when it is closed. Tubing inside a dental unit can burst, pipes can leak, plumbing fixtures can fail, all of which can lead to flooding and thousands of dollars in damage. Water can also damage computers and other office equipment.
Damage from flooding could potentially result in temporary closure costing in lost production as well.
If your office is on an upper floor of a high rise, you can potentially affect neighbors as well potentially with catastrophic results.
If you shut the water off to the entire office you can avoid damage from a sudden and unexpected failure of your water lines. And minimize any damage. A solenoid can quite simply save you thousands. It's very cheap property insurance.
Its a great info. How do u flush the nitrous from the oxygen
/nitrous dental cart
The oxygen and nitrous lines should be separate on your unit so you should never get pure oxygen in the nitrous lines (or vice versa). Your flowmeter should have an oxygen flush switch to switch to pure O2 through the main line and nosepiece, however. Simply activating this control is all you should need to do.
Consult your owner's manual or speak to the mfr. of your nitrous system for help in identifying the particulars of your unit.
An O2 flush is a normal part of providing nitrous analgesia and wouldn't really fall under routine maintenance, incidentally.There are some great sources of information on anesthesia including various CE courses you might consider for more information on using nitrous in your office.
What could happen to your suction/water lines if you never cleaned or changed the traps?
Thanks for the question!
Your lines could become completely clogged preventing anything from flowing through them if you didn't maintain the traps. The traps catch large solid waste to help prevent it from clogging your lines.
Maintaining your traps (along with use of an amalgam separator) is also an important part of the ADA's BMP's for keeping amalgam out of the sewer lines.
Thanks for contributing!
What can happen to a vaccum and compressor if they are run for a period of time without water?
Thanks for the question!
A compressor doesn't require water, so there should be no concern there.
If the vacuum is a wet ring pump (uses water to generate vacuum) and you have no water, you can get a catastrophic failure of the pump. Normally, it will just shut down, but the pump can seize, impellers can break, lots of damage can occur to the pump, so keep a good eye on your water filters and your water lines in general.
If you have a dry vacuum (like our Steri-Dent Central vac) it doesn't use water, so there's no concern if you lose water with one of these systems.