Choosing the Right Delivery System for your DSO

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To provide patients with the best care, your clinicians have to be comfortable as they work. You might not think about the delivery system providing that comfort, but it plays a vital role in ensuring that everything they need is easily within reach, while preventing fatigue in the arms and wrists.

As a leader in the dental industry, A-dec® offers a wide range of delivery systems, from chair-mounted traditional and Continental® designs, to side- and rear-delivery systems. While each style has its own benefits, they’re all designed with a focus on ergonomic comfort for your staff and flexibility for your clinical space.

This article takes a brief look at four different types of delivery systems you might consider for your dental service organization.

Traditional delivery: tried and true

This popular delivery system design mounts the delivery unit arm from underneath the patient chair. This enables easy handpiece positioning for both left- and right-handed operators as the control head can be moved to either side of the chair. Patients will also find it easy to enter, as they can access the toe of the chair from either the right or left, depending on the position of the arm.

A-dec’s traditional deliveries are simple and straightforward to install, as all services are routed through the chair; options such as light and monitor mounts are popular additions. The A-dec 300 and A-dec 500 delivery systems accommodate a range of ancillary equipment from electric motors and ultrasonic scalers to the latest intraoral cameras.

Keep in mind: Because a traditional delivery system requires enough space for the control arms, it should be installed by an authorized A-dec technician to ensure there’s enough clearance between cabinetry and walls.

Continental delivery: easy on the operator

The Continental-style delivery system features handpieces on top of the control head with flexible “whip arms” to guide the tubing. The handpieces are partially supported by the whip arms, which takes weight off the wrist, helps balance electric handpieces, and prevents them from dropping to the floor. The flexible control arm supports both left- and right-handed positioning for multiple operators.

Continental deliveries have excellent ergonomics that eliminate unnecessary bending, twisting, and eye strain. Once they’re familiar with using the delivery, many clinicians find it’s a superior choice for both comfort and productivity as they work. Their eyes can remain focused on the patient, as they can use peripheral vision when picking up or replacing a handpiece from the control head.

Keep in mind: Having instruments within easy reach for clinicians also puts them closer to patients. Because handpieces can potentially be bumped by active patients, Continental may not the best choice for pediatric groups.

Side delivery: out of sight, out of mind

Side deliveries keep instruments out of view before a procedure, which is helpful for managing patient anxiety. During treatment, the delivery can be easily positioned at chairside, then tucked away before the patient sits up. Side-mounted delivery systems offer the clean, uncluttered, “open operatory” look of a stand-alone chair. They’re also a good choice for orthodontists who don’t need chair-mounted instruments for simple procedures such as placing or adjusting bands.

This delivery style requires garage-like cabinetry to house the system when not in use. The A-dec 342 side delivery stows discreetly beneath A-dec dental cabinetry, and can easily be integrated into a practice without having to replace existing A-dec cabinets or chairs.

Keep in mind: Side deliveries are specifically dedicated to either right- or left-handed use, and need a separate utility location for power, air, and water. If left-right convertibility is important, make sure the rest of the operatory is designed with that in mind.

Rear delivery: extra workspace included

Rear deliveries accommodate clinical instruments behind the patient to reduce anxiety, and create the uncluttered look of a stand-alone chair. After the patient enters the chair, the delivery is moved into working position to begin treatment. A-dec’s design features an innovative articulating round surface that provides a larger work area for preparing composites and placing procedure trays and other items.

The rear delivery system frees up space in the operatory, and is the least expensive way to connect to utilities. Because rear deliveries support both left- and right-handed positioning, they’re ideal for multiple operators in busy DSO clinics. Orthodontists and pediatric groups who don’t always need to use dynamic instruments also find them to be a good choice.

Keep in mind: Rear deliveries are better suited to four-handed dentistry than two-handed, as single operators may find themselves having to reach, lean, and twist to access instruments from behind the patient’s head.

Final thoughts for your checklist

Beyond the basic format of the delivery system, consider these additional points:

  • Is the control head easy to level, and does it have multiple pivot points?
  • Are handpiece adjustments easy to locate?
  • Is the hosing lightweight and flexible?
  • Can a fiber-optic handpiece be placed on a non-fiber-optic handpiece tubing?
  • What functions can be operated from the touchpad?
  • Can the delivery be converted for right- or left-handed operators?
  • Does the delivery system accommodate technology integration?

Of course, you’ll also want to assess the quality, durability, and long-term value of the delivery system you choose. A-dec products are rigorously engineered, manufactured, and tested to last for 20 years of continuous use, even in a DSO setting. That’s the kind of reliability that keeps operatories full, clinic schedules running smoothly, and your staff working productively—no matter which kind of A-dec delivery system you choose.

Want to know more?

Talk to an A-dec DSO specialist today.
1-800-547-1883 or