Tips on Purchasing Dental Equipment

Central Dental Solutions has come up with a list of tips when purchasing dental equipment. Whether you are updating equipment in an existing practice or starting from scratch, we think you will find these pointers helpful.

Dental Millwork

 Firstly, you will need to decide on what operatory layout is best for practice; Open concept, semi-closed or closed operatory. Open concept offers flexibility and the best amount of space and requires less wall construction which can save time. Closed operatories often require less millwork and are much more private but take more space. Since the covid 19 pandemic, we have seen more offices turning to closed operatories for increased infection control and air quality.

  • There are dental millwork applications that give you very standard configurations, and there are also dental millwork companies that allow quite a range of customization to design what you want.
  • One often overlooked fact is that dental millwork with a serial number is considered dental equipment and can be depreciated as such. General, built-in millwork from a contractor, is viewed the same as leasehold improvements. There is a tax advantage to buying dental millwork, which can make the net cost more attractive; additionally, dental brand millwork will have much more resale value in the future.

Dental Chairs

High-quality chairs that are comfortable for patients are an important part of your clinic. There are many upholstery options to choose from. Stylized options have more stitching and may use softer materials to add a nice look, and often are more comfortable. Asepsis options upholstery has cleaner lines and is easier to keep disinfected but can be less comfortable. We also find that asepsis-style upholstery tends to have a longer lifespan.

  • Most quality chairs will have a cast aluminum back instead of plastic covers and a cast aluminum base instead of a flat plate.

Dental Handpiece Controls

The decision on your dental handpiece control is very important for operatory layout. Often in a larger practice setting, you will want to consider options that are flexible for right-handed and left-handed operators. The most common L-R-friendly dental handpiece controls are rear delivery (12 O’clock) or from a pivot under the chair (often called pivot or radius delivery). There is also the option of handpiece controls from a mobile cart or a side delivery arm, although these are fewer common options. You will also need to consider assistant controls – vacuums + Syringes which can be mounted to the rear cabinets or the chair.

  • Don’t take shortcuts when purchasing dental handpiece control, as these are one piece of equipment that can cause the most service-related issues. Especially with water and air coolant for high speeds, having precision controls help you do your job.

Dental Overhead Light

Most dental lights are now LED, although halogen is still a less expensive option. You will want to consider the brightness and colour range. A very important function of your operatory is the locations of your overhead light; they can be chair-mounted, ceiling-mounted, wall-mounted, or in a surgical room setting, they can also be track-mounted.

  • In the operatory design layout, you want to ensure that what style of light you have chosen and where it is positioned works well with the position of your intra-oral x-ray.

Dental Operatory Seating (Stools)

Dental operatory seating is very important as dental professionals spend a large portion of their career in them. The right stool can increase operating comfort, reduce fatigue and even the risk of long-term injury. There are many styles to choose from standard to saddle to inflatable sears, with many options for tilt and lumbar support.

  • Wherever possible, it is a good idea to demo a stool before purchasing to ensure it will work well for you.

Dental X-Ray

Under this heading, there are both intra-oral and extra-oral x-rays starting with the intra-oral; depending on the layout of your operatories, it may be possible to share these between 2 ops. It is important that if you are using digital technology, you purchase intra-oral x-rays with a direct current emitter.

  • Above, we have mentioned the intra-oral x-ray generator. You also need an x-ray processor. In the days of analog, this was a unit with a developer and fixing solutions in it. Now, most offices have digital, and you will either choose digital wired sensors or a phosphor plate system. The advantage of digital sensors is that they provide the best image for diagnosis, and within seconds for exposure, the image will appear on your screen. On the other hand, they are expensive and can be more difficult to position in a patient’s mouth. Phosphor plate systems use imaging plates that are much more like traditional film and so are easier for the patient and also for the staff that are used to the positioning technique with film, and are also less expensive. However, after the image is taken you have to scan the image off of the plate into the phosphor plate scanner, adding time compared to sensors. Some offices choose to use the sensors for certain procedures but complement them with a phosphor plate scanner. This gives the flexibility to have a backup system, and the phosphor plates give you an economical way to take #1 and #0 images for pediatrics or patients with limited openings.
  • On extraoral x-ray there are pan units, pan/ceph combination, pan/cbct combos or pan/ceph/cbct combos. Pan and cephs are 2D images. Cbct is 3D imaging which requires special software. cbct is becoming more mainstream but will require a dedicated room with lead lining and a leaded door.
  • When purchasing x-ray equipment, it is important to know your regional governing body. In Manitoba, this is the radiation protection department for cancer care. All equipment must be registered with them.

Sterilization Equipment

Sterilization equipment is increasingly important in the operation of dental clinics, with increased emphasis on infection control. Starting with your sterilization millwork, it is critical to have a defined flow in one direction with no crossover from dirt to clean.

  • You will need to consider how you will do your instrument pre-clean, whether it is an ultrasonic cleaner or an instrument washer. Ultrasonic cleaners are less expensive but require more instrument handling by your staff, and instruments are still wet after pre-cleaning. Although they are more costly instruments, washers are ideal for the use of instrument cassettes, require the least amount of handling, reduce the risk of injury while handling sharp instruments and deliver dry instruments at the end of the cycle.
  • When it comes to sterilization, there are class B and Class S-type sterilizers. Class b is the most advanced and delivers the driest, cleanest sterilization process. However, they are more costly than the standard class s and typically cost more to maintain.
  • The infection Control protocol is changing. Consult your association or dental industry specialist to find current requirements in your region.

Mechanical Equipment

Often overlooked, as they are buried in your mechanical room or in your basement is your air compressor and your vacuum unit. At Central Dental we refer to these 2 equipment items as the “heart and lungs” of a dental clinic

  • All new dental air compressors are oilless and deliver medical-grade air. It is important to size them according to the number of operatories that are used simultaneously as well as consideration for any lab equipment of CADCAM mills that require air.
  • Vacuum systems are available in liquid ring style or in dry-vacuum configuration. Liquid rings require water to operate and are less expensive and smaller. Dry vacuum options provide better suction long term, generally have a longer lifespan and require less maintenance. The up-front cost can often be recovered in the first five years by water/waste charge savings as well as the savings on disposable filter bowls required for liquid ring pumps
  • Lastly, most dental clinics require amalgam separators to reduce amalgam in wastewater. This system is hooked into the incoming vacuum line.
  • It is a good idea to have quarterly maintenance on your mechanical equipment. Investing this can into your “heart and lungs” can significantly reduce the chance of a costly emergencies and downtime.

We trust this overview and tips on purchasing dental equipment have been helpful to you. As well as looking at the various dental brand names it is always important to have a good working relationship with a dental service provider with your back. When laid out and planned carefully, a good dental service provider will give you the best opportunity to succeed. Any time there is a breakdown, it is important that you have confidence that they can get you up and running as soon as possible.

  • The best dental service providers will always consult with you on your unique needs and will plan a solution that is right for you.

Reach out to a Central Dental Equipment Specialist by e-mailing or calling 1-800-665-7302.

Fluoride in Your Dental Practice

Fluoride is a very important mineral for the overall health of teeth. It is found naturally in water and many foods but this mineral is lost as acid is consumed; The acid comes from sugar and attacks the enamel; this process is called demineralization. When food and water that contain fluoride are consumed the process of redepositing the minerals to the enamel layer is called remineralization. When too much demineralization occurs without remineralization it will break down the enamel layer causing tooth decay.

As a dental professional there are a few different formats of fluoride that can be applied. There is gels, foams, rinses and varnishes.  Foams and gels are used in fluoride foam trays, rinses are swished around the mouth by patients and varnishes are painted right on to the teeth. Although varnishes are usually more expensive per application, they do ensure increased fluoride uptake.

Some patients may be worried that there are negative effects of fluoride but maybe studies have been done and as long as no one is consuming large amounts, fluoride is completely safe for patients. In fact, there are many benefits of fluoride such as, slowing or even reversing the development of cavities by harming bacteria that creates the cavities. It can also help to prevent gum disease, tooth pain and premature loss of teeth.

From the Canadian Dental Association’s website, “The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) supports the appropriate use of fluoride. More than 50 years of extensive research demonstrates that fluoride is safe and effective in preventing dental caries (i.e., tooth decay). CDA recognizes and supports the use of fluoride in preventive treatments and as part of daily care products. CDA monitors the scientific literature examining the use of fluoride to ensure its safety and effectiveness.”

At Central Dental, we can help you find the right fluoride for your clinic and patients. If you have any questions, please contact our friendly experts by emailing or calling 204-832-8481.


Sterilization Tracking in the Dental Industry

Infection control in a dental clinic is a very important part of everyday operations. Infection control is all about preventing the transmission of infections through the instruments and surfaces that are used. During procedures, any risk of this can be easily avoided when the proper systems are in place. Sterilization tracking is one of the important systems that should be implemented to ensure proper disinfection and sterilization of your dental and surgical instruments.

The most common procedure for sterilization tracking is using spore tests, which can also be referred to as biological indicators. Along with that, mechanical and chemical monitoring is necessary to help detect other errors such as an overloaded sterilizer, incorrect packaging or equipment malfunctions. Mechanical monitoring can be monitored during the sterilization cycle which allows for an alert of an error in real-time and you can keep records of this through a data logger or printer. Chemical monitoring uses sensitive chemicals that change colour when exposed to high temperatures. They can be tape, stripes or tabs. These chemical monitoring checks also give you the results at the time of the cycle so there is no delay.

In most cases, dental clinics are required by the national and provincial governing bodies to verify the proper functioning of the sterilization cycle by using a biological indicator. Team members responsible for this task should be properly trained, and have them properly recorded so you can pull up the history at any time.

If a spore test does come back positive, there are other factors that can be causing the problem.  It does not necessarily mean that your sterilizer isn’t working. First off, check that the chamber was not overloaded, that there is no excess packaging present, that the tools were exposed to the proper amount of time, and check the temperature and pressure settings or if there was an interruption in the cycle. If any of these were incorrect, you would run a retest. If all of those items were correct and you have a failed test you should stop using the sterilizer and call your dental service provider.

Understanding and correctly implementing sterilization monitoring as part of a dental infection control program is a must for the safety of patients and team members. At Central Dental Solutions, we are experts in infection control. We strive to be up to date with the latest regulations and trends. If you have questions about your infection control program, please do not hesitate to contact us by emailing or calling 1-800-665-7302.


Employee Spotlight with Kevin Haldane

As the Operations Team Lead at Central Dental Solutions, what are some of your responsibilities?

KH: I am responsible for working with the other members of the operations team to make sure we have inventory in stock so we can get it to our customers on time!

How does the Quickship program work?

KH: This is a guide to the most common items that we sell! If the product is in the guide and you are in Winnipeg if you place your order by 11:00 AM we will, where ever possible, get the order to you by 4:00 pm that same business day likewise if you place the order before 4:00 PM we aim to get it to you by 11:00 AM the next business day.

Why does Central Dental Solutions offer reupholstery on dental chairs?

KH: This is a quick more economical way of giving your chairs and office a refresh with minimal downtime!

How does the Rapport Preventative maintenance work?

KH: This is a check on the “heart and lungs” of your clinic done at regular intervals that work for you.

If someone is opening a new dental clinic, how can Central Dental Solutions help?

KH: Central Dental can help in many ways, from finding space that is feasible, Design, Project Oversight, Equipment, and Cabinetry to getting you the supplies you need to get started!

Can clients go to your website to place an order?

KH: Yes, they can. The customer portal allows them to have a curated list of the products they want to order and also see their entire transaction history

What do you like to do in your spare time?

KH: I enjoy playing shiny, BBQing, and spending time with family and friends!

If you would like to reach Kevin Haldane directly you can email or call 800-665-7302.

Tips on Keeping Your Clinic Clean and Safe

In a healthcare environment keeping your dental clinic clean and sanitized is always a top priority. There are systems and strategies that can be used to ensure your team and patients have the safest and best experience in your clinic. No matter what your position is within the dental clinic, everyone on the team should share responsibility to help maintain a clean and safe environment for the benefit of all.

High Touch Areas

Always monitor high touch areas that should be regularly disinfected. Visible debris should be disposed of safely and washing down the entire area with an approved disinfectant should be done on a set schedule. High touch areas in the general clinic include, but are not limited to, transaction surfaces, light switches, drawer handles, cabinet and door handles, as well as faucets and sinks.


Inevitably there will be high traffic in the washroom with many patients and staff members going in and out. The condition of the washroom is always a reflection of the rest of the clinic. Maintaining a clean and fully stocked washroom in your clinic will show patients that you have not overlooked the importance of keeping the washroom clean and tidy.

Reception Area

The reception area of your clinic is the first impression your patients will have of your clinic. It is critical that it is kept clean and well organized. This includes keeping clutter under control and keeping all surfaces visibly clean. There should be clearly defined intervals in which the highest touch items are disinfected. Some examples are waiting room chairs, pens, debit machines and transaction surface of desk.

Disinfection & Sterilization Procedures

One of the most crucial steps to take in developing your disinfection and sterilization procedures in your clinic is to make sure they are understood by your team and meet your associations standards. These research-based standards are there to use as a guide so that your team and patients will be kept safe. Following these procedures will significantly reduce the risk of cross-contamination and infections.

Havin pro-active cleaning and disinfecting practices that you implement at your clinic will go a long way to maintaining a positive reputation both with patients and valued team members. If you want to go the extra mile consider hiring a professional cleaning team who can sanitize all the key traffic areas as well as performing the regular cleaning tasks. By always presenting a clean and well-organized clinic, you can ensure your patients have the best experience possible at your dental clinic, and ensure their safety.


Sedation Techniques in the Dental Industry

Dental sedation is used to calm a patient’s anxiety about the procedure or help with pain control. There are many forms of dental sedation in the industry. They range from numbing the pain to completely sleeping. All forms of sedation are meant for short term use.

Minimal Sedation

This type of sedation is a conscious sedation. This is where the patient is still conscious but less aware of what is going on around them. When this method is used the patient’s coordination might be affected but ventilatory and cardiovascular functions will be unaffected. One of the most used techniques for this type of sedation is what is known as commonly known as laughing gas. The medical name for laughing gas is nitrous oxide and is used to relax patients which may help them receive pain management such as needles in the gums. The effects of laughing gas come quickly and wear off quickly once they stop breathing it in from the nose apparatus you will use to administrate it. Patients who use only this sedation method can often drive right after the procedure.

Oral Sedation

This type of sedation is also a conscious sedation. This is a prescribed medication that is taken orally. There are a number of different types of medication that can be prescribed. Depending on the circumstances, your patients heart rate and blood pressure may need to be monitored during the procedure. If the patient has extremely high anxiety this is a good option. Typically, this type of sedation will leave them sleepy and unable to drive home.

IV Sedation

There is something called ‘Twilight’ sedation. For this, the patient is conscious but not very aware of their surroundings. This can still be done at your dental clinic with the right education and equipment. Under some circumstances but not very often, a patient will need general anesthesia which cannot be done at the dental clinic but would need to be done at a hospital or specialized clinic where a specialist would administrate the sedative and monitor the patient throughout the procedure.

As a dentist, you should always check with the dental association guidelines or requirements to administer sedation. Another option that is becoming common in the dental industry is clinics employing a dental anesthesiologist so they can perform the more complicated procedures.

Having sedation alternatives can benefit certain patients, as well as your whole team by saving time, anxiety and delivering a more positive patient experience.


Mario Santos

Mario Santos has been a Service Technician for the past 2 and a half years. He enjoys meeting new people and working on their machines. In his spare time, he plays Dare, basketball and works on cars. He also enjoys being a grandfather. He always wants to make sure customers are happy with his service!

Why Dentists Are Turning to Digital Dentistry

The technology in the dental field is ever-changing, like most industries. In the past decade, many positive steps have been made to creating an accurate and beneficial system for digital dentistry. This technology has many benefits. Although it has taken time to be a trusted source in the industry it is in high demand now. Below we explore some of the advantages of digital dentistry.

Saves Time

The bottom line is that intraoral scanners save you time. When you save time in your clinic, it leads to more patients which increases your workflow and patient reach. When you scan a patients mouth digitally it takes five minutes. Scanning digitally helps you to avoid a mess and keeps patients from being uncomfortable

Guarantees Accuracy

When digital equipment is used properly, there are plenty of studies that prove the accuracy of intraoral scanning. When you use a scanner, you eliminate human error. Most dental labs suggest that the biggest source of error is the impression that is made. When a scan is made digitally it takes out the chance of that happening.

Comfort of Use for Dentist

The new Carestream intraoral scanner, CS 3800, is completely wireless and has a battery life up to one hour. It can be plugged in if the battery runs out. It uses motion controls within the scanner instead of having to use the computer. It is only 240 grams which makes it easy to handle for dentists and does not create a lot of stress and pain in the hand when using. This new technology is the most comfortable and convenient on the market to date.  

Saves Money

Depending on how you do things at your clinic, you can really save money using an intraoral scanner. You will save money on materials such as PVC and plaster for models. On top of that, you will save money on shipping and will not have to find the space to store all of the additional materials. All of your models can be stores digitally instead of finding a physical place for all the records. According to Dr. Mark McOmie from the Unites States, you can save approximately $28,800 a year using a digital scanner. The cost upfront is more but in the long run you will save thousands of dollars for your practice.

At Central Dental Solutions, we are seeing the CS 3800 as a way of the future. If this is something you would like to try at your clinic, do not hesitate to reach out to our knowledgeable team and we can provide you with a demo to ‘try before you buy.’ Please contact us at or call 800-665-7302.


Mental Health in the Workplace

When people are stressed out at work it can lead to a decrease in productivity. No employer or employee, wants that to happen. Some companies are taking a proactive approach by creating wellness programs in the workplace. These programs in place may have some initial cost and time but reports are showing that they are leading to an increase in productivity which will benefit the bottom line. In the end, the return on investment is well worth it. Not only will it help with the company be more successful, you will have healthier and happier employees and a lower turnover rate.

The responsibility of mental health and productivity does not only rest on the shoulders of the employers, it is important for the employees step up and find ways on their own to be sure they are caring for their own mental health. Caring for your mental health is critical for all aspects of your life.

Here we will give you some advice on strategies you can use to help decrease your stress and increase your productivity and improve your overall mental health.

Lunch Time

Whether you are working from home, in an office or a clinic it is important you take time on your lunch break to enjoy your meal. Make it a priority and set boundaries for yourself. Leave your regular workspace to eat your meal so you have a chance to disconnect. Go to the common area and visit with your co-workers. If that is not possible, enjoy the outdoors. Studies show that nature and fresh air can decrease stress and increase the quality of your overall health. Even if you can only be outside for 10-15 minutes, any amount of time will help.

Move Around

If you are at a job where you sit at a desk all day, take time to intentionally get up and move your body. This can help when you are feeling tired and assist to generate ideas and strategies while working. If you work at a dental clinic, you do spend time moving around but again, be intentional about your movement when you do get a break. Increase your heart rate, it can help with sleepiness and can wake up your mind so that there is no worry of becoming complacent with your patients.


Meditation is a tool that has been used for decades, and for good reason. Studies show that the practice of meditation can decrease anxiety and stress while increasing the quality of your mental and physical health. Now there are many apps that can help to guide you through meditation if you are new to it. If you are not comfortable with meditation, even just finding a quiet place to practice deep breaths that give your mind a chance to rest can help. If you do not have time to meditate at work, this is something you can practice anytime, anywhere.

Hopefully, whether you are an employee or an employer, some of these tips can help to implement ways at the workplace to decrease stress and anxiety and increase the overall health, productivity and well-being of everyone at the workplace.