#19 – Set up instrument trays

Setting up trays before a client arrives saves much time during the treatment day.  When you become a chairside assistant, you will notice these advantages.

  1. We can see more people in less time.  This increases production and efficiency.
  2. An emergency client can be added into the schedule with minimal hassle.
  3. It’s more efficient and sterile to do all the set ups at one time than off and on through the day.

Before you leave each evening, one tray must be set up for every client that will be seen the next day. Wear your gloves!  Take a blue tray and place the pocket of instruments and disposable supplies on the tray.  We work from the bottom up, so the lowest shelf on the left hand overhead cabinet will have the earliest client tray and on up.  Dirty trays are placed on the shelf across the aisle from the autoclave.  Before using, use oil of orange to remove all stains, then Biocide scrub, spray, sponge, and put in cupboard next to tray set ups.

Pictures and descriptions of each of the tray set-ups are included here & you can print & refer to them as needed. Use them as long as you need to.  After a few weeks, try to set up the tray without looking at the book.  You should have all the set ups learned after about one month.

After a couple of weeks, try to set up the trays from memory.  See how much you can remember.  Your speed and efficiency (as well as how quickly you’ll be able to help at chairside) is tied to memorizing these set-ups.

Signed off by:   _____________________      Date: ___________

Here are the tray setups for the various procedures that you need to learn & then get signed off on:

A. Crown and bridge 
B. Crown and bridge seating 
C. New Client exam 
D. Root canal first appointment 
E. Root canal seal 
F. Post and core 
G. Amalgam filling 
H. Plastic filling 
I. Stainless steel crowns 
J. Partial denture appointments 
K. Complete denture appointments 
L. Splint appointment 
M. Oral surgery 
N. Equilibration 
O. Pulp treatment 
P. Electrosurgery 
Q. Hygienist 

Obviously, each dentist will have a preferred set up for each procedure. However, to give you a couple examples for the type of tray set up needed:

New Client Exam
Exploring point
Periodontal probe2x2 gauze wet (one)
Yellow exam form
Yellow treatment sheet (if not in folder)
Rinn paralleling x ray instruments
a. BWX holder
b. Anterior holder
c. Posterior holder
18 x rays and x-ray holder
Lead shields body, thyroid
Blood pressure cuff
Intraoral camera photo

1. Mirror
2. Bib
3. Exploring point
4. Set up kit