Guide to Dental Delivery Systems

There are many types of delivery unit available for dentists, this guide breaks down the pros and cons of each style and how to choose between them.

Guide to Dental Delivery Systems

The dental delivery system is the hub for most, if not all, of the air or electric-powered instruments controlled by the dentist during their procedures. There are many types of delivery unit which can be chosen depending on the dentists’ preference, space in the surgery, budget or the type and number of instruments used by the dentist.

They are designed for easy access to the handpieces, suction, syringes and more, including activation for the instruments with a foot pedal or control panel. The correct system for your surgery could save time, prevent frustration and give you a more ergonomic way of working.

The two main styles of delivery unit are the chair mounted style or the portable unit. They can also be attached to cabinetry or a wall so there are many options and styles available to cater for any surgery layout or preference.

These are the different options available:

  • Chair side-mounted
  • Rear delivery
  • Chair over-patient whip arm
  • Chair over-patient hanging hose
  • Cabinetry or wall mounted unit
  • Mobile cart

There are positives and negatives to all the different systems, and some are better suited to particular specialists, so it would be wise to consult with an equipment specialist to determine which would be best for you. As a tool that is in use every day, the most ideal system to assist you in your work would not only make the job easier, but also avoid shoulder joint and lower-back problems.

Another consideration that is often overlooked is the assistant’s access to the delivery system or one of their own. The assistant should be able to easily access the suction, syringes and spittoon at the very least. The most frequently used tools should be placed closest to the operator and hoses should be lightweight and flexible.

Heka UnicLine S

Some delivery systems can also hold various accessories, so the list of equipment that can be contained within this unit are as follows:

  • Turbine handpiece
  • 3:1 syringe
  • Micromotors
  • Fibre optics
  • Scalers
  • Intra-Oral camera
  • Curing light
  • Auxiliary outlets for power, air, water
  • Auxiliary trays
  • Suction hose
  • Spittoon
  • X-ray viewer
  • Touchpad

Side-Mounted Chair Delivery Systems

A perfect example of this system would be the Belmont Cleo, with its base-mounted and height-adjustable delivery with first-priority handpiece selection. Also included is a chair-mounted cuspidor unit and assistant’s console.

The benefit of this system is that when the chair is set-up to the dentist’s preferred working position the instruments are easy to retrieve and movement for the dentist is minimal. Unfortunately, this can be an ergonomic concern, as over time this can lead to over-working certain muscles and bones and can lead to fatigue due to being in the same position hour after hour, day after day. The height is critical to preventing shoulder injuries.

As the dentist moves around the patient they could be prone to twisting their body to retrieve instruments if they do not reposition the delivery system and because the assistant does not have access to these instruments, productivity can be compromised.

Belmont Cleo

So in conclusion, if the operators have an established way of working and can set-up the chair to their liking, but also keep in mind that they may need to alter and tweak this occasionally to prevent fatigue then it could be the ideal option.

Rear-Delivery Chair Systems

Dental chairs with this style of delivery system are best suited to dentists and their assistants who both need access to the instruments. The swing-around system is base or chair-mounted and similar to some side-mounted variations, although the dental instruments and assistant instruments are both on a pivot which can be rotated to either side of the chair. This is ideal for an ambidextrous set-up or for multiple dentists using the same surgery.

The Fedesa Electra Ambi would be a great example of this and not only does it have flexibility and functionality, but it also allows for other pieces of equipment in the operatory due to the clearing of space.

Ancar S1 S

The flaw in this type of delivery is the limitations to the perfect working position. Operators often lean, reach and twist to retrieve instruments and can be restricted in movement around the patient’s head.

These are not designed for predominant two-handed use from one dentist, but as mentioned before, for a multiple-use surgery, especially if ambidextrous is needed.

Over-The-Patient Chair Systems

These treatment centres are designed for freedom of movement around the patient’s head as the delivery system can be moved and adjusted with ease in a variety of positions. The instruments are within easy reach, but are within close proximity to the patient and can cause anxiety. These delivery systems also offer a wide range of utilities and accessories as well as assistant side tools and units. They can be installed for left or right-handed operators, or both.

These are the over-patient delivery systems available:

Hanging Hose

The Belmont Clesta or Ancar S1 H use this system, the hoses hang down from the unit and give the ultimate maneuverability for instruments and resting positions.

Belmont Clesta

Whip Arm

The Ancar SD-150 has a flexible delivery system with a whip arm mounting on the control head. The purpose for this is to keep the hoses away from the patient, automatically centre and return the instrument back to its storage position with ease. This allows the unit to be placed over the patient’s body during the procedure.

Ancar SD-150


The Heka UnicLine S Pillar is a space-saving delivery system with a true ambidextrous concept. The telescopic arm can be easily adjusted to work 180 degrees around the patient to avoid twisting the body. It can accommodate a two or four-handed treatment and adapts to left and right-handed dentistry within seconds.

It is designed to be as minimalist as possible, with no unnecessary connections, requiring very little space and is therefore very suitable for smaller clinic rooms.

Heka Pillar

Cabinetry or Wall Mounted Units

In circumstances where the chair does not have its own delivery system attached and is close enough to the cabinetry then the delivery system can be mounted under the worktop, with a space between cabinets for easy storage.

They are pulled out on a foldable and extendable arm; some surgeries have one for the dentist and one for the assistant, on either side of the chair. This system is also necessary if services to the chair from under-the-floor channels are not possible.

DCI Cabintery Delivery

The DCI series has a 3-way autoclavable syringe, handpiece line flush-out system, tray and utility centre with air filter regulators.

Mobile Cart

This delivery system is the ideal solution for a standalone chair which is a fair distance from a wall or cabinetry. The cart would have its own storage area, usually between cabinets under the worktop and is transported to the chair on caster wheels.

Mobile Cart

The DCI series has similar specifications to the cabinetry mounted unit above including an autoclavable tray. Belmont provide mobile carts for their Voyager and Clesta chairs and most mobile delivery systems include a foot control and require very little installation.

Which Dental Delivery System Should You Choose?

If a dentist purchases equipment that is not ideal for them, especially in the context of ergonomics, then they could suffer with musculoskeletal discomfort or injuries. So, it is essential to do research and consult a professional equipment supplier that has experience working with dentists who have similar surgery and chair arrangements to you.

You can speak to our equipment team on 01322 293333, email us at or fill in this Contact Form if you would like to discuss options with us or if you have any concerns with your current set-up.

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