The Ultimate Guide to Dental Engineering

This guide covers the importance of Dental Engineering and what is involved. Including annual servicing, repairs and regulations for dental equipment.

The Ultimate Guide to Dental Engineering

Who are Dental Engineers?

Most of the equipment and machinery within a dental practice is designed and built with precision to obtain the maximum ease of use and durability. They are a considerable financial outlay and an investment to the practice, so ensuring that they are functioning to expected standards are paramount.

The engineering of dental equipment covers electrical, mechanical and pneumatic parts and dental engineers have a significant role in assembling, installing, maintaining, modifying, repairing and servicing the equipment. Some of the parts may get damaged or wear-out over time and faulty equipment can pose a danger to patients and the professional.

We have previously published an article called “Do I need to have my dental equipment serviced?” The answer is absolutely ‘yes’ and the reasons for annual equipment servicing are covered in that article. Prevention of potential equipment break-downs is much better for the dental practice than repair work as a cure.

Dental Equipment Servicing

Our Dental Engineers can provide preventative annual servicing to keep your equipment running smoothly and minimise down-time. We offer certification and testing for pressure vessels and x-rays as well as service reports for your CQC compliance file.

We have an in-house team of fully trained engineers who strictly follow manufacturer’s guidelines, if a dental practice does not follow the manufacturer’s instructions then they are likely to be invalidating the warranty on their equipment.

Dental equipment can generally last 10-15 years if properly utilised and maintained, so it is recommended to set-up a service schedule for all maintenance and certification intervals.

We can contact you when required to book work in at your convenience giving you peace of mind that your machinery will remain compliant and in safe working order.

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The Ultimate Guide to Dental Engineering

What is Dental Chair Servicing?

Dental chair servicing or maintenance is vital to the safe running of your chair and associated tools. This is one of the most valuable items in any surgery and the importance of maintaining these to manufacturers guidelines and the highest standards are essential.

How often should a dental chair be serviced?

We suggest an annual service. We can set-up a service schedule for you and contact you when required.

What will the engineer do and how long will this take?

A service will take about an hour and the engineer will need to fill out a form, recording details of the chair and owner.

  • Manufacturer’s guidelines will be followed for servicing requirements
  • Air, water and electricity will be switched off
  • Stability of the treatment centre checked
  • Air and water outlet pressures and potential leak checks
  • Tubing outlets checked for damage
  • Ancillaries, operating lights, spittoon, suction and drainage checked
  • Any damage or wear and tear will be recorded
  • Any repairs or replacements will be either made or recommended
  • Any further action will be highlighted

Suction Equipment Servicing

Suction lines should be cleaned every day with an evacuation system cleaner and a compatible disinfectant run through the tubing. Follow the manufacturers maintenance instructions for this. Additionally, the suction pump will need an annual service.

Also, if your suction pump is not working, then we can run a check and service as below:

  • Switch off unit
  • Remove any amalgam waste
  • Check for any stored fluids and drainage waste
  • Follow manufacturers guidelines for servicing requirements and replace parts
  • Check, clean or replace filters, if necessary
  • Test unit in line with manufacturers guidelines
  • Check for any leaks
  • Make any repairs or replacements
  • Dispose of any used and contaminated parts observing your practice policy
  • Complete paperwork

Air Compressor Servicing

The MGF Air compressors we supply are designed to provide years of trouble-free, reliable usage, although certain components do require periodic servicing and we recommend an annual service.

Unexpected breakdowns can be avoided by maintaining your machinery and organising a service schedule with our certified and trained engineers.

Contact our Service Department for tips on maintaining your Dental Equipment or if you would like us to review your current installation.

What is involved in an air compressor service?·

  • The unit is switched off
  • Details are recorded in our form
  • Oil, filters and driers are checked, if necessary
  • Checks for leaks
  • Switches, cables and valves are inspected
  • The torque of nuts and bolts are examined
  • Overall running and operation of machine
  • Make any repairs or replacements
  • Recommendations can be made

Autoclave Servicing

The Autoclave can be serviced annually and sometimes quarterly and can take up to 2 hours.

The engineer will cover these points during a service:

  • Check machine details
  • Switch machine off
  • Check for leaks
  • Drain and clean reservoir and check sensor
  • Remove any debris from the element and tray carrier
  • Clean the chamber and door face
  • Clean the filter
  • Inspect the door seal and switch operation
  • Refill reservoir with distilled/de-ionised water
  • Check valves
  • Record wear and tear
  • Make any repairs or replacements, if necessary
  • Fit temperature probe and run test cycle
  • Overall running of machine
  • Complete paperwork

X-Ray Inspection

We can inspect any of your X-ray equipment which would usually take an hour per machine including hand-held dental X-ray sets. We recommend an annual service on these.

During the service our engineer will:

  • Switch off machine
  • Check details
  • Check the machine stability and wear and tear
  • Check the exposure control
  • Check Tube-head and fittings
  • Check overall running of the machine including warning lights
  • Inspect radiation output and complete documents (If Critical Examination Test Pack is requested)
  • Check the consistency of the radiation output (If Critical Examination Test Pack is requested)
  • Highlight any issues
  • Complete paperwork

Washer Disinfection Servicing

This is also an important piece of equipment to keep maintained and an annual service is recommended. Depending on the manufacturer these can take around 2 hours to service.

During the service our engineer will:

  • Check and record equipment details
  • Isolate the water and electricity
  • Check for leaks
  • Check for lime scale contamination
  • Remove any debris from the sump
  • Check detergent
  • Fit a temperature probe and record results
  • Run a test cycle
  • Repair or replace parts if necessary
  • Complete paperwork

Small Equipment Repairs

Handpieces can be cleaned, lubricated and sterilised by the dentist or trained assistant, but servicing and maintenance must be handled by an approved engineer.

They should be inspected and serviced regularly which will avoid costly repair charges and emergency call-out fees. If parts are needed, then they should be genuine, and manufacturer recommended.

The Ultimate Guide to Dental Engineering

CQC Compliance and Certification

The Care Quality Commission can take regulatory action for breaching their regulations. Regulation 15: Premises and equipment covers this subject and our service department can keep your practice compliant in this area.

Regulation 12: Safe care and treatment is also relevant as providers must make sure that the premises and equipment used is safe and where applicable, available in sufficient quantities.

During CQC inspections they will want to see evidence of reliable systems, processes and practices in place to keep people safe. This includes using and maintaining equipment and ensuring that equipment is not out-of-date.

Practices are responsible for ensuring their medical devices are maintained appropriately: this includes maintaining and repairing all medical devices correctly, including reconditioning and refurbishment. Practices should have a system in place to ensure regular and appropriate inspection, calibration, maintenance and replacement of equipment.

Another factor to consider is the Health and Safety at work act which prevents any member of staff from putting themselves, or anyone else at risk. Another reason to contact a trained engineer for such work.

Validation of Decontamination Equipment

Maintaining and servicing decontamination equipment appropriately is essential to ensure that equipment performs to an optimum standard. All decontamination equipment should be validated, tested, maintained and serviced as recommended by the manufacturer. Validation is needed for new decontamination equipment at installation and annually thereafter.

A record of every single sterilisation cycle should be made. This record should demonstrate that the steriliser is working within validated parameters such as time, temperature and pressure, using the machine’s own indicated measurements on the display.

Sterilisers are maintained by an appropriate and competent person. As sterilisers are pressure vessels, a suitable written scheme of examination needs to be in place for each one.

Once in place, sterilisers need to be examined in accordance with the written scheme of examination. The maximum interval between these safety inspections is 14 months. Current certification must be available for inspection.

Quoted from CQC website – Dental Mythbuster 12

Also see our article on Decontamination Room Design.

The Ultimate Guide to Dental Engineering

Emergency Engineer and Call-Out

We always endeavour to attend to repair calls as soon as possible, but if you need an engineer urgently, you can choose our emergency call-out service.

For a small additional fee, we will prioritise your emergency and ensure it is swiftly attended to with minimal down-time.

Further reading

Dental Equipment: Repair or Replace - This article looks at the options when a piece of equipment needs repairing. So, if you are wondering whether to fix an old machine or purchase a new one, read this first.

Rental Equipment

In the unlikely event that we are not able make the repair on-site, we will exchange your equipment for a loan unit and carry out professional repairs in our own workshops.

We also offer rental packages on dental equipment as an alternative to purchase. This gives you full peace of mind knowing that all servicing and maintenance costs are covered.

Our Dental Equipment Engineering Service

Our service department identifies the fault with your equipment by offering various communication channels. They will offer advice or book an engineer visit to minimise your downtime.

The EclipseCare service plans ensure that your practice achieves maximum service uptime; with our operational experience and technical expertise we can help you to run a successful dental practice.

Free, unlimited technical support is available. Just give us a call on the number below, or complete the request form and we will do our best to help you resolve your issue.

Free telephone support:
01322 421156

Email contact:

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The Ultimate Guide to Dental Engineering

Service Department staff

John Boyt – Service Manager
Ray Watts – Service Engineer
Timothy Boyt – Installations Manager

The Ultimate Guide to Dental Engineering

The Ultimate Guide to Dental Engineering

The Ultimate Guide to Dental Engineering

The Ultimate Guide to Dental Engineering

The Ultimate Guide to Dental Engineering

The Ultimate Guide to Dental Engineering

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