10 Tips on Choosing self-contained portable dental units
Ask the vendor about the amount of vacuum capacity and if this is an adjustable feature. Inquire if all functions of the unit can be performed simultaneously. This generally requires 70-100 psi. Is there a dedicated vacuum pump for each specific function? Because these units are designed to be compact and portable, compromises may exist.
Determine your needs. If weight and size are of main concern, consider the smaller capacity, single motor units, keeping in mind that these systems may only allow the use of one function at a time – suction, air water syringe, handpiece.
Portable units may be moved over multiple types of terrain. Consider the wheels size and durability. Is there a built in carrying system? Is the protective carrying case durable? Does it have enough inside padding?
Think Bigger! Be sure to take a strong look at your needs to ensure your future success. Many first-time entrepreneurs underestimate their level of success and the dental needs in areas or facilities that have previously experienced restricted dental care. Often, they unexpectedly find the need to upgrade their equipment, as they feel the need to expand their services sooner than expected.
Many units do not provide space for storage or tabletop usage. Consider an additional storage system where items can be easily retrieved, in additional, offering placement of an instrument tray, an ultrasonic unit or a curing light.
Review ease of infection control. Are hand pieces detachable and fully autoclavable? Does the design have a minimum number of rough surfaces and ridges? Is the waste purge line long enough?
Ask if the featured options can be customized. When working with an assistant, there may be a need to have two air water syringes available. Can a fiber-optic handpiece be used? Is there an external power outlet for additional equipment, such as automated scalers? Are there choices of water bottle capacities? Does the unit accommodate electric or air-driven handpieces?
Understand the maintenance requirements for these self-contained portable dental units. Does the unit have an internally lubricated motor or is it oil-free? Obviously, oil-free units require less maintenance. Is there a service agreement that can be purchased? Can most long-term maintenance be done on-site or is it required to be done at the factory? What will the downtime be and how often is this required? What is the turn-around time on repairs? This can be particularly burdensome if the equipment is purchased outside of the country.
Discuss and compare warranty conditions. Inquire if an extended warranty package can be purchased, with a loaner available.
Inquire about the vendor’s customer service policy. Since some services may be offered outside of traditional working hours, is there service available during your patient hours?
If you need other dental equipment such as extraoral aerosol suction unit, you can ask us for help.