#12 – Keeps Maintenance Costs to a Minimum

This task has 2 parts:

1. Maintaining our equipment –

2. Repairing what is broken

To maintain our equipment – we use a series of checklists – daily, weekly and monthly.

Use this checklist for daily duties: Daily Duties

Use this checklist for monthly duties:  monthlydutieschairside

Also, monthly,  measure the strength of each curing light each month to make sure they’re all performing properly – create a spreadsheet with the number of each curing light and record the strength here.

If you use ScanX phosphor plates for digital xray, also do a physical inventory of the plates each month to make sure they are not lost. Here’s a sample checklist: XRAY INVENTORY feb 2013

It’s also a good idea to do a physical inventory of all the handpieces again to make sure nothing has been pitched on accident. Here’s a sample checklist: Handpiece Inventory FEB 2013

Finally, its important to deep clean each operatory every month. Here’s a sample checklist: deep cleaning rooms2012

The assistant team is responsible to evac each operatory each day as well. Here’s a sample checklist: Evac Schedule


When a piece of equipment needs repaired – fill out an Equipment Maintenance sheet.  Here is a sample form: Equipt Maint form  These are located: ___________.

When filling out this sheet, you should be sure to write which operatory, the problem, date reported, and your name. It should then be placed: ____________.

If you have an item, such as a N2O unit, that doesn’t work, you should make a copy of the filled out maintenance sheet stating where in the office this item can be found and tape a copy to the item . When the serviceman arrives, get with him or have someone else get with him. Learn why the equipment failed and how we could either prevent this from happening or repair it ourselves to save the $100 service call.

After the serviceman leaves, place the filled out sheet:  _______________. Then, at our next chairside meeting, it’s your job to report on the visit by the repairman. What was wrong? How did it happen? How can we prevent it from happening again?

Why go to all this trouble? Two reasons: Equipment and its repair are very expensive. Now is the time to understand and organize your self to reduce the operating costs of our practice. Make this a lifetime professional goal. When a piece of equipment fails, we can’t provide the clients the care they deserve. This ruins schedules and upsets clients.

*If a piece of equipment gets sent out for repair, our serviceman will take the equipment with him if he cannot repair it in the office. Be sure to write down the date he took this equipment so we can follow up to make sure it is returned in a timely manner. You are responsible to call  to check on the equipment.

*Sometimes Schein will send us a loner piece of equipment if needed.

Maintaining water softeners:
 On the weekly duties it is your job to check the water softeners for salt.
 The water softener is located: ___________
 Lift the lid to see how much salt is in each container. If it is low add salt. If we are low on salt bags, call ______________-.
 ____________ comes in every ____ weeks to fill and bring bags to stock.

Amalgam separator
• Located: _____________________
• Prevents amalgam from going into sewers/public water supply
• Have serviceman check canister twice a year to see if it is full enough to change out canisters

Sterilization procedure for high and low speeds:
“After I use the air I get a “spit” of water from the air/water syringe, what can I do?” According to Shawn Lang, Patterson Dental Service Technician, “It’s most likely caused by a bad o-ring. Change the back o-ring, and that usually solves the problem.”
A worn, warped, or aged o-ring can allow water to enter with the air.
Changing an o-ring is not difficult. On most models of air/water syringes, insert place an allen wrench in the tip, twist to loosen and remove it. The back o-ring is located on the back side of the removed piece.

Team Leader_____________________________________ Date _________________