What's the Best Water for My Dental Unit

What’s the Best Water for My Dental Unit

Given the many different water options to use in your dental unit, it can be perplexing to know which one works best. Should you use the artisanal water filtered through ancient volcanic rock deep beneath Mount Fuji, or will simple municipal tap water suffice?

The confusion arises from the dual requirement that the dental office wants to ensure a clean supply for anti-microbial treatment that also works well with the dental unit components. A brief background assessment of the most common water types will help to clarify your practice needs.


Distilled, Deionized or Demineralized Water – These types of water have the majority of the mineral content removed from them. They sound like a logical choice given the purity seems ideal, and the supply already exists in the office for use with steam sterilizers.   However, despite the apparent benefits of distilled water, it can be corrosive to metal components within the dental unit. With no minerals to give the water pH balance, distilled water acts like a magnet, absorbing chemicals (phthalates and bisphenols) from plastic and absorbing ions from metal. The metal corrodes until an equilibrium concentration of metal ions in the water is reached. Unlike other brands and imported dental units that use brass components and unknown plastics, ASI Dental uses high-quality plastic fittings and stainless steel in our dental unit valves, fittings, and control block. So, corrosion damage to an ASI dental unit is less affected by pure distilled water. However, we would still not recommend pure distilled water for long-term use and recommend using other more acceptable water types for your practice.


Regular Tap Water and Filtered Tap Water – Although it may not seem appropriate, most municipal water supplies are adequate sources of drinking water safe for human consumption. So, tap water can be acceptable for use in the dental unit. The only requirement is that tap water, like every other water source, should be used in conjunction with an in-line water line disinfection to prevent biofilm buildup within the dental waterline tubings (see Waterline Disinfection below).  

However, some tap waters from wells may be considered hard water due to the excess amount of minerals contained within them. So, if you have hard water in your area, it would not be advisable to use it long-term as the calcium-like deposits will build up inside the miniature fittings and valves and cause clogging issues. Filtered tap water that removes excess minerals and other impurities may be a viable option but depends on the type used. Whether you can use tap water in your practice should be evaluated by its mineral content, if you deem it safe for consumption and the type of filtration used (if any).


Bottled Drinking Water – This can be a balanced approach providing a readily identifiable clean source of water but usually has balanced mineral content to provide acceptable taste and not be corrosive as pure water. Available in larger jug containers or through a delivery service can make it less expensive to use and store. Most common types of bottled drinking water should be safe to use, but you should still evaluate a brand and source you trust.


Water Line Disinfection

Regardless of the source or type of water used within the dental unit, a key factor is to use a waterline disinfection protocol. Even absolute sterile water will quickly begin to build up a bacterial biofilm within the micro-sized dental tubings used throughout the dental unit. To reduce the bacterial presence, a waterline disinfectant rated safe for use with dental units such as straws, tablets, or solutions are available. We do not recommend most of the tablets, powder mixes, or shock treatments since they will damage the components within the dental unit. We do highly recommend using a disinfectant straw, such as DentaPure 365B, as it maintains an acceptable level of low-concentration iodine disinfectant for a full year (240L of water). They are low cost, require minimal staff maintenance, and do not damage the components within the ASI dental unit.

Regardless of the disinfectant system your office has, it’s always important to use clean water. Distilled water increases the effective lifespan of any disinfectant straw used due to the lack of minerals included, and municipal tap water is generally acceptable. Bottled water is sufficient when paired with a straw or tablet disinfectant. We do not recommend water from in-office distillation or reverse osmosis machines due to the increased chance of bacterial colonies forming within the distillation unit itself.


Order Water Disinfection Cartridge


Water Line Testing

Using a consistent and effective water disinfection protocol is required.  Quarterly Dental Unit Water Line (DUWL) testing will ensure compliance with CDC and EPA regulations. Consider your current DUWL protocols and check if your system is compliant. Keeping your water lines beneath the threshold of 500 bacterial colony-forming units per milliliter (<500 CFU/ml) of water is of paramount importance for ensuring the health and safety of your patients. To quickly evaluate the bacteria level within your dental unit waterlines ASI provides in-office water line test kits to use.


Order Water Line Test Kit


Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved.  ASI Medical, Inc. DBA ASI Dental Specialties  |  Terms & Conditions of Use

How to Select the Best Specialty Dental Patient Chair for Your Practice

How to Select the Best Specialty Dental Patient Chair for Your Practice

Although patient comfortability is a concern, close access to the patient oral cavity is essential for improved treatment and ergonomics for the dentist. The primary purpose of the dental patient chair is to deliver the oral cavity to the dentist in a stable and ergonomic fashion. All chair design considerations should be based on maintaining this objective. Treatment capabilities should enable and accommodate restorative to endodontic use. The following are important design considerations for patient chair selection:


#1 Headrest Design

The headrest should be thin to enable optimal access to the patient. It should allow the operator to slide their knees comfortably underneath the headrest to prevent reaching or strained movements while performing treatment. The headrest should be double-articulating and provide two pivot points for infinite positioning based on placement for procedure need. A slightly cupped U-shape design of the upholstery can support the patient’s head properly while still allowing the operator to turn their head to either side for better access.


#2 Thin and Narrow Backrest

A proper chair design objective includes the concept of a thin and narrow backrest. The thin and narrow design will allow both a dentist and assistant to sit more comfortably closer to the chair and their legs to slide slightly underneath. The goal is to be able to sit in close proximity and maintain an ergonomic upright position. The narrow backrest is a key consideration for the dental assistant who needs close proximity to the side of the chair to avoid reaching and extending their body. 


#3 Patient Positioning

Since patients come in all sizes, the chair length and width need to provide for a range of body widths and heights comfortably. The reclined patient chair should be positioned within the treatment room to allow the dental team to remain in their ideal working positions. They should be able to access instrument delivery and work trays with enough space between the top of the headrest and the wall so the team can move between them with ease. A traverse feature that allows the chair to glide horizontally forward and backward is a highly desirable function to enable proper patient positioning.


#4 Swivel Feature, Base Design, and Room Design

A must-have feature for microscopic dentistry is a smooth gliding swivel feature for your patient chair. The dentist will be able to change the view within the microscope without using their hand to move the scope. By slightly rotating the chair side-to-side, the dentist can alter their view of the patient’s oral cavity.

Additional considerations for selecting the best dental patient chair are room size and design. Room size with a smaller space will require a smaller footprint of the chair. Room design considerations depend on if the room has a single or dual entry and how much space will be consumed by fixed cabinets. Mobile/modular cabinets can provide flexibility to move around the chair as needed. A swivel feature is essential as it can allow the chair to pivot to the right or left by usually around 30 degrees to each side. Use the swivel feature to position the patient chair diagonally and take advantage of the best length of space in your room. Even smaller room sizes can be utilized for single entry room use and still enable egress for the dental assistant.


#5 Height Adjustment and Weight Capacity

For optimal treatment, the chair should provide an enhanced operating height range that will allow the chair to adjust low enough for the operator’s arms to remain down but elevated at a height to perform cosmetic or other procedures in a comfortable, stand-up position. Additionally, as patients have become more robust in recent decades, so must the chair. An ideal weight carrying capacity of the chair should be a minimum of 300 lbs. to accommodate heavier patients. The mechanical structure of the chair must be sturdy and have a heavy-duty hydraulic system or lifting mechanism.


#6 Low-Profile Armrests with Locking Feature

Armrests provide valuable comfort for patients and should be considered a requirement for any chairs used for restorative dental treatment. First, the armrests give patients something to do with their hands while seated. Second, the armrest should fold down for the patient to enter or exit the chair but still provide a stable point for them to lift off or lower themselves down into the chair. Once the patient is comfortably seated in the chair, the armrest should lift and lock into place.


#7 Upholstery Design

The best patient chairs have high-grade upholstery that is durable and resistant to scuffs and tears. The upholstery should be a smooth design without excessive stitching or tiny patterns that make cleaning difficult. Dental chairs should have top-of-the-line foam that will enhance patient comfort during lengthy procedures.


#8 Adaptable to Patient Needs

There are times when the dental patient chair needs to be versatile to accommodate specific needs:

Wheelchair Use – Some patients use a wheelchair where it is not practical to transfer them to the dental chair. In these cases, use a dual-purpose headrest that allows the backrest of the patient chair in the upright position and the headrest flipped 180 degrees, so it is facing out. The wheelchair can be positioned at the back of the patient chair with the patient’s head in the headrest while the operator works in a stand-up position.

Pediatric Use – Use a patient chair with a positioning aid such as a pedo booster for younger pediatric patients by placing it onto the upholstery.


All in all, taking all of these design features in mind will help you to select the best patient chair for your practice. Ergonomics are not only critical to your health, but your dental team’s as well. Considering these design features and incorporating them into your dental practice from the beginning will save you and your team from discomfort and injury. Please visit our Multi-Specialty Patient Dental Chair page to view our options for ergonomic patient chairs.

Importance of Properly Maintaining Handpieces and Quick Connect Couplers

A common issue that can occur with dental equipment is a loss of pressure or torque from air-driven high-speed handpieces.

High-speed handpieces use miniature turbines that look like small water wheels in the head and spin around from the compressed air. The air goes up one side of the handpiece, spins the turbine, then returns down and out the other side of the handpiece as exhaust. There are various reasons related to the maintenance of the handpiece that can cause low torque or loss of air pressure.

Aging gasket. Each handpiece or quick connect coupler will have a silicone gasket on the bottom of the connector. This gasket can age, become brittle, and need to be replaced periodically, such as five-year intervals to ensure a proper connection to the tubing to prevent air or water leaks.

Aging Gasket

The handpiece connection is not secure. The silicone gasket used on handpieces is a flange type gasket that requires the handpiece to be snugly tightened to the handpiece tubing. Most common handpieces use a quick connect coupler, so it is important to remove the handpiece and then verify the coupler is tight. Hint: To ensure a secure connection, tighten the coupler on securely and then loosen again. Clean the threads and then retighten.  The second time will secure more than the first time, and the reason is related to the fine threads used on dental handpieces that can gall when tightening.

The handpiece itself needs periodic service. The seals inside the handpiece head begin to wear and leak. Therefore requires more air pressure to operate or will run at less than efficient torque. Depending on the brand of the handpiece, you may need to replace or repair it based on the manufacturer’s instruction.

Exhaust air not able to flow freely. If the exhaust air is restricted, the result will be a loss in torque even though the handpiece air gauge is reading normal. If that air is not able to exhaust at all, symptoms will include very low torque and the potential for the bur to stop completely. Verify the oil mist recovery jar on the dental unit is unobstructed and that the air can freely exhaust out it. Secondarily, if you are using a quick connect coupler to attach the contra angle handpiece, the drive air or exhaust ports may be clogged with debris causing the handpiece to stall from a lack of airflow or exhaust.

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved.  ASI Medical, Inc. DBA ASI Dental Specialties

Update on Molecular Iodine Compatibility

We mentioned in early May that we would evaluate the equipment compatibility of molecular iodine if it were placed in the water bottle system for handpiece irrigation. We used the IORinse Concentrate that is made by IOTechInternational. We tested using both a 50% concentrate with water and 100% concentrate. By comparison, the manufacturer recommends a concentration of 10%. We did not find any issues or degradation with any of the internal components, gaskets, or O-rings. As a secondary test, we allowed the solution to remain in the tubing and handpieces for two weeks without use in between. We were pleased that there was no clogging in the lines or miniature ports on the handpieces, and there was immediate and responsive activation of the handpiece coolant and air/water syringe flow. Third, we did a test to evaluate potential staining of tubing, work surfaces and upholstery with repeated exposure to 100% concentrate. We found the solution easily cleaned off of hard surfaces and our White Silk tubing without staining. However, the chemical did leave a noticeable yellowing on the dental upholstery that could not be removed. The plastic water bottles used became visibly stained from the molecular iodine.    

As a result of these three tests, we can recommend that molecular iodine is safe to use with ASI’s line of dental equipment without adverse effects to working components or clogging of lines, but long term use may cause some staining to occur on dental upholstery and certain plastic surfaces.

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved.  ASI Medical, Inc. DBA ASI Dental Specialties

Assessing the Impact of “Should” vs. “Shall” on Your Practice

The difference between “Should” and “Shall” in Regulatory Speak can make a big difference in how you go about interpreting the many new guidelines coming out regarding infection control.

The rush of new recommendations coming out has been not only confusing with a lack of clarity but also sometimes contradictory. To add to the confusion, an often misunderstood but very important criteria when reading regulatory guidelines is to understand the implication of the wording being used. Words like “Shall” or “Must” will mean you are required to do what the regulation is stating if the agency has enforceable authority over your practice. However, words like “Should,” “Consider,” or “Recommendations” mean they are only suggesting you follow these guidelines, but there is no requirement or mandate that you must do so. For example, one protocol recommendation is to have patients wait in their vehicles and have staff accompany them inside. This is not a mandate in any of the regulations we have seen. Most patients and staff find this particular protocol disruptive and find other ways to achieve the same objective. An important note is that the ADA, CDC, and OSHA have recently put forth science-based recommendations that are guidance documents and not requirements. Therefore, dental offices should also be evaluating their state/local regulations because those are requirements that must be followed.

We have heard from a few customers that have expressed there doesn’t appear to be a clear authority or a step-by-step guide on exactly what must be done to be compliant. The short answer is that you are the De Facto Authority for your practice in a time of operation that lacks clarity in oversight or mandated protocols. The term De Facto has various meanings in how it is applied, but generally, when there is a lack of clear governmental directive or oversight, then the adopted standard practice becomes the De Facto way of doing it.

Being up to date on the various guidelines put forth by agencies and associations combined with your own experience and knowledge will allow you to ultimately choose required protocols and recommendations that are right for you and your practice. What protocols you implement to protect you, your staff, and your patients will become part of a universal way of practicing that eventually becomes adopted by the majority of dentists. Showing some discernment to implementing extraordinary measures could be prudent as they may be deemed unnecessary in the future as things return to normal. Using tried and proven protocols that have kept patients safe in the past can and should be an ideal starting point.

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved.  ASI Medical, Inc. DBA ASI Dental Specialties

ASI Waterline Disinfection

Disinfecting Your ASI Waterlines

The following is a primer on waterline disinfection and current recommendations for protocol.

Why You Need to do Waterline Disinfection

Even though modern dental units have non-retracting water valves inside, bacteria will always find its way into the waterline necessary to begin building a biofilm matrix. Many assume if the city water has diluted chlorine then it would eliminate biofilm, but it does not. It is due to the very nature and design of dental tubing versus household plumbing, which is why waterline disinfection is required in your dental units. The larger diameter of household plumbing provides a high flow rate to surface area for water flowing through the lines and essentially flushes the lines clear. On the other hand, dental waterline tubing is very small in diameter within handpiece lines. Given the very low volume of water used during a dental procedure is a slight fog spray of water for drilling, the flow rate of water to surface area of the tubing is incredibly low. This results in a matrix of bacteria that builds up on the inside wall of the tubing. Even flushing the lines with higher flow without the handpiece attached will not be sufficient to dislodge the biofilm matrix and keep it from growing. So, all dental units require some type of waterline disinfection to control the biofilm from growing within the tubing. Otherwise, the bacteria biofilm will grow to the point that it can release high bacteria counts to patients during treatment.

What Methods Are Commonly Available? 

The criteria would include: effectively mitigates biofilm growth, safe for patient use, does not damage equipment gaskets and cost effective to use. There are numerous methodologies that have been developed over the years ranging from liquids, tablets that dissolve, pick up tube cartridges, and central water treatment systems. All of these will have their purported benefits, but may also have drawbacks.

What Not to Use

After researching for years and obtaining valuable feedback on methods our customers were using, we gathered a wealth of information. We found that dissolvable tablets and pills are not recommended as their residue can gradually buildup and potentially block connections and narrow passageways. They may also adversely affect expensive handpieces over time. Some brands of the drop in tablets are caustic and will damage O-rings and gaskets within the delivery system. Certain powder mixtures, shock treatments and bleach contain harsh chemicals and damage gaskets and corrode valves. We also found some pick up straws tend to clog easily.

Why We Recommend DentaPure Cartridges for ASI Dental Delivery Systems

Ease of Use It installs in minutes and once the cartridge is installed, there is no daily staff attention or monitoring required for the life of the cartridge. This way there is no concern if a daily protocol was forgotten and staff time is used more beneficially in the practice.

No Shocking Needed – Shocking is an antiquated protocol that basically admits the disinfection method wasn’t working, so it is necessary to periodically chemically shock the biofilm to kill it. DentaPure goes to work every time water is run through the cartridge, so there is not a need to have to periodically bring down the bacteria count.

No Special Requirements for Water – Unlike some brands, you can use either tap or distilled water.

Does not Damage Equipment -With DentaPure cartridges there are no harsh chemicals that will damage the O-rings, gaskets or valves within the ASI dental system.

Safe for Patient Use – The elemental iodine is safe for patients to ingest and does not cause allergic reactions.

Effective at Controlling Biofilm – Studies have illustrated its effectiveness and feedback from our own customers has demonstrated its effectiveness.

Anti-Viral – Iodine is highly anti-viral and may be beneficial in mitigating viruses in aerosols.

Cost Effective – Not only will you save time, but money too! With 365 days of use, the cost of one DentaPure cartridge averages out to $0.54 per day. This is less expensive than most other waterline treatments.

How Does the DentaPure Waterline Disinfection Cartridge Work?

The DentaPure Cartridge contains non-allergenic iodinated resin beads. As water passes through, the resin releases 2 – 6 ppm of atomic isotopes of elemental iodine during a typical dental treatment. The isotopes control the bacteria, keeping dental unit water safe for 365 days. The DentaPure is a slim cartridge that simply hangs down inside the water bottle. 

Save time and money with DentaPure cartridges by reducing waterline treatment to a simple, annual routine. Remember to do some follow up testing of your water lines to ensure you are getting the desired results.

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved.  ASI Medical, Inc. DBA ASI Dental Specialties

Do I Need to Hire a Dental Architect?

You’re not alone if you have contemplated hiring a dental architect. In fact, it is becoming more common in today’s competitive market for dentists when looking to design their dental office space and treatment rooms. The choices would seem to be between using the design services of a dental supply house or a commercial architect that specializes in dental office design, but the answer is dependent on the extent of build out, cost, and style factors. To address this, let’s look at three typical scenarios:

Remodel or Refresh of an Existing Dental Space -This type of scenario may involve a slight refresh or a major remodel of the entire space where the flooring, wall coverings, cabinets, etc. will be removed and even some walls tore down to build new ones. Even though it may be a major overhaul, it really doesn’t fit the needs of an architect or their time to get involved. This type of scenario is better handled by a dental supply house or a good dental contractor and interior designer. The contractor should be able to handle any of the permitting process required and consult with the interior designer to create the new look you wish to achieve.  An advantage of a dental contractor/interior designer team is that they will give you the freedom to select dental equipment for the best application and from any source.

Build-Out of Office Building or Retail Space – A complete build-out of an open space can become a complex project. Determining the best design and workflow to fit in the space requires someone with expertise to accomplish the office objectives as well as handle the utility runs and building code compliance. In order to handle these types of projects, it is always better if you can utilize someone with dental office space experience because they already understand the equipment needs and how the workflow and patient flow works best.

 So, in this scenario should you use the services of dental supply house or a dental architect?

The dental supply house can generally be less expensive and they have years of experience providing design, so the results should turn out without issue. However, the supply houses tend to be unimaginative and use cookie cutter designs that are based around a certain brand of equipment they promote. It is easy to end up with a bland design that doesn’t work best with new technology or how you wish to work. This scenario tends to tie the dentist’s hands in that they have to use the equipment provided by the supply house, which reduces the ability to negotiate. Additionally, their design may be heavily weighted towards calling out expensive cabinets that don’t fit with modern looks or current minimalist dental office design themes. You end up paying for a lot of extras that you wouldn’t normally purchase on your own.

A dental architect, on the other hand, will tend to cost more up front but save in the long run.  They can masterfully design your space to create the modern feel your patients and staff will appreciate, while embracing a workflow around mobile and modular dental technology rather than fixed cabinets. Since architects are independent of dental equipment companies, they are free to recommend styles that best fit your needs or work with the equipment brand of your choice. You will pay more for a dental architect, but save by not having to buy excess expensive fixed dental cabinets while achieving a truly exceptional design to separate your office from the typical office.

Complete Ground Up Building Construction– This scenario requires someone with structural design knowledge of the building itself while also having the ability to design the interior office space. This will require a commercial architect or a dental architect with structural design capability. Therefore, the design services of a dental supply house wouldn’t make sense since you will already be working with an architect. The cost of architectural design will be high, but you will have the ultimate freedom to create the space you desire and open up the selection of dental equipment and technology you wish to use.

So the extent and scope of your project ranging from a straightforward  remodel to a complete build-out will most likely be the determinant of whether to use a dental supply house, dental contractor/designer or a professional dental architect firm.   See ASI’s National Directory of Dental Architects for a listing of professional architects that specializes in dental office designs.

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved.  ASI Medical, Inc. DBA ASI Dental Specialties  |  Terms & Conditions of Use


Tips for Selecting the Best Self-Contained Portable Dental Delivery Unit

Updated on 12/14/20 – 

It may seem daunting when reviewing various brands of portable dental units to try and choose the best self-contained dental unit with a compressor. Prices can vary widely from pricing that seems too good to be true to more expensive units, and yet it’s not always clear how well they work. The purpose of this article is to simplify your purchase decision, explain some of the mechanical features, and layout what to look for when comparing/reviewing different models for your office or your portable dentistry practice.


Look for these specific features when evaluating a portable dental delivery system:

Minimal Vibration
One of the most overlooked but significant characteristics of evaluating a mobile dental delivery unit is vibration. An ideal system will have a powerful compressor and vacuum system, meaning the motors could generate enough shaking to cause sound and make the work surface unusable if the instruments and trays vibrate excessively. A well-designed unit will ensure that the vibration is minimal to allow dental procedures and working from trays without interruption.

High Grade Portable Compressor and Vacuum Pumps
Greater precision comes with higher quality pumps. The dynamic balancing of the motors and piston will make them run smoother. This smoother operation is the key to beginning with proper construction to eliminate vibration at its source.

Engineered Isolation Mounts
The best way to mount pumps requires not only a stable and secure connection to keep the pumps from moving around but also the need to eliminate transfer of vibration from the pumps to the chassis. Rubber mounts do a fine job of securing the pump but don’t do very well at absorbing vibration. Improved dynamic mounting is of higher quality and eliminates a high percentage of vibration.


Solid and Robust Construction Materials
Units that have poor construction or use flimsy materials will not handle vibration well and will cause problems. A well-built portable dental unit will be not only constructed of high-grade components but will also have thicker walls and materials. Units should use aluminum or an equivalent type of construction to keep them lighter yet stronger. To properly absorb vibration, be cautious of units that are too small or lightweight.

Sound Performance
Many in the dental field have heard inexpensive, poorly designed dental units with air compressors can be very loud. A well-engineered portable dental system should be quiet and operate under 48 decibels measured right next to the system. However, sound can be elusive, and decibels don’t always truly represent sound. There is no standardized testing certification used to compare brands to the sound levels they claim. So, the best way to find out the sound of the system would be to hear it in person. If that is not practical, then either listen to a video of the operating system or get a recommendation from someone you trust that has heard the systems.

Suction Performance
One of the most challenging design areas for a mobile dental unit to create is the powerful suction desired for dental procedures. It needs to provide high flow with moderate strength to pick up debris, effectively capture water coolant, and pull viscous solutions through smaller tubings like the saliva ejector or surgical tips. To adequately perform restorative procedures, the system should be able to power the high-volume suction and be able to extract liquid through the saliva ejector simultaneously. When comparing units, evaluate the suction strength of both the high volume and saliva ejector handpieces when used together so that you know if you have a well-designed portable dental suction system.


Suction Canister Size
The size of the suction canister should allow for a standard day of procedures with regular rinsing during treatment. Generally, a good baseline is that the canister should hold around two to three liters of liquid. The canister should prevent overflowing by shutting off the vacuum when full and should have an indicator light to let staff know to empty the system.

Purging Ability
Consider a hands-free solution to emptying the contents of the suction canister through a pump and discharge hose system. Use a purge system to discharge directly into a sink basin or a convenient quick disconnect connected to the plumbing drain system. Once emptied, readily rinse the system by evacuating clean water and then clean overnight by suctioning an enzymatic cleaner that breaks down the proteins in blood and saliva.

Compressed Air and Handpiece Performance
When evaluating a portable dental unit with a compressor, make sure that the internal air compressor provided can produce enough airflow at the right pressure to operate air-driven dental turbine handpieces properly. Don’t be tricked into using horsepower to try and compare models. Unfortunately, horsepower ratings have a wide range of latitude, and marketing companies have used the HP rating to trick many consumers into believing one model has more power than another. Find out if the system you are evaluating can adequately run common brands of dental turbine handpieces for an extended period without pressure dropping.


Aesthetics and Working Easily with the System
It is necessary for the system you will be using to look like a professional piece of dental equipment that delivers high-quality care since it is in an office setting. Look for systems that have enclosures made of quality materials and finished in a way that looks modern with rounded corners and edges. Work surfaces should provide an adequate working area and provide an easy to clean, attractive appearance. As a mobile cart, it should roll easily with high-grade casters. Other considerations are ensuring that the dental unit has non-clinging and non-stiff dental tubings and that handpiece holders should be modern, rounded, and easy to clean.

Electrical Requirements
A well-designed self-contained dental unit should be able to operate from a standard electrical outlet without overloading the circuit even with both pumps running at the same time.

Testing Lab Approval
Ensure that the model you select has a UL certification by an approved testing lab. Knowing that all the electrical components, wiring, switches are high quality assembled correctly will give you peace of mind.


Dental Water Supply and Water Line Disinfection
Current requirements are mandating disinfection of the water lines in dental delivery units to remove the biofilm that can grow inside the small diameter tubings. Tablets and other chemicals can clog or damage mobile dental delivery unit components and require consistent management to ensure the removal of biofilm. An ideal self-contained dental unit should have a water line disinfection cartridge that can be part of the bottle system so that no daily maintenance is required. Since these cartridges can be expensive, select a system with a tandem water supply that gives ample water supply for a full day’s procedures but only requires one cartridge to filter both bottles.

Amalgam Separation
If you are using the portable dental unit for restorative procedures such as removing old amalgam fillings, the suction system will need the ability to use an amalgam separator. The unit can purge through the amalgam separator to collect the heavy metals. The amalgam separator must receive testing and approval by a certifying agency to meet state and EPA regulations. Verify that the model you use provides a certified separator option.

Nitrous Oxide Scavenging
In-office use of a self-contained dental unit will often require the ability to use the portable dental suction to connect to the nitrous patient mask to scavenge off the excess gas. Check to ensure that the portable dental system has the optional capability to be used for nitrous exhaust scavenging.

Please visit our Portable Performance Page on ASI Dental’s line of advanced mobile dental delivery system technology.

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved.  ASI Medical, Inc. DBA ASI Dental Specialties  |  Terms & Conditions of Use

How to Plan Your Dental Treatment Room Setups and Office Build-Out

Cost control is an important criteria for new dentists setting up their first practice.   To keep budgets from spiraling out of control, dentists can now select new types of modular dental equipment that are more cost efficient than traditional fixed dental cabinets.  Plus this type of equipment easily allows them to scale their equipment budget to the growth phase of their dental practice.  This can allow dentists to defer purchasing all the equipment when they first open.

The first step is to plan well and to only purchase the dental delivery systems, chairs, equipment and supplies you can put into production right away. This may mean avoiding supply stocking programs and the temptation to fully equip the entire office unless you really believe all the dental treatment room setups will be used from the start.

Planning out your office and expenditures is more than just getting the right look. Use discernment when reviewing pre-formatted budget templates, and consider the importance of each area to generating initial practice revenue. Before you purchase equipment, ask yourself if extra equipment is really necessary for you to open your practice. This will help you get down to a much more realistic overall budget that isn’t filled with excess equipment, supplies or post construction décor.

Select types of modular dental equipment that easily adapt and be added in as practice growth requires it.

Think like a large manufacturer that is planning to grow. These companies need to be able to easily ramp up their production lines in the future, but don’t want to over spend until their sales numbers justify the expansion. So while they would consider finding a large enough facility that allowed for planned growth, pre-wiring it and completing some of the interior finish, they would not buy additional production line equipment until it was required.

The trick is to ensure construction is completed and readily allows for modular dental equipment to be moved in, set up and easily connected. There are now handy in-wall and floor dental junction boxes that facilitate running electrical wiring, IT cabling and plumbing. These built-in boxes come neatly enclosed and don’t detract from an empty treatment room’s appearance, yet they make it very easy to connect equipment as needed.

To maximize your dental office space cost, it is important to get the most from your space. Building leases are based on a price per square foot, which is the horizontal dimension. Keep in mind you pay nothing more for the vertical space. Large dental cabinets require a big horizontal footprint without adding to treatment capability. Modern dental delivery carts are more compact and can integrate instruments, computer systems and monitors into one console, reducing the footprint and taking advantage of the vertical space. You can design smaller treatment rooms yet achieve an open and spacious feeling for you and your patients.

Modern modular dental delivery systems and mobile dental carts are much easier to set into place and connect without a lot of installation difficulty. This type of dental equipment easily adapts to expansion and even different operators’ requirements, including ambidextrous or multi-specialty needs.

No matter what equipment you invest in as you start your practice, don’t feel like you have to buy it all at once. Take a phased approach instead.


Modular Dental Office

Dr. Massad discusses his Modular Dental Office with ASI’s Cabinet-Free operatory design.