Skip to 0 minutes and 10 secondsThis is a dental chair. This is important because it allows the patient to be moved into a position which is comfortable for them but also allows the operator to work with good vision and to work unhindered. Also, we have a light. The dental light is important so we can see into the patient's mouth with very good visibility of the hard and soft tissues so that we know what we're working on. The three-in-one air syringe is important so that we can dry the teeth and wash them down as well to give a clean and dry area for work.

Skip to 0 minutes and 44 secondsWe have a variety of air-powered instruments, which we can change the speed of to decide how quickly we're going to cut the hard tissues and things. There's a spittoon where the patient can spit out if there's any excess moisture or dental materials in their mouth. And we also have a vacuum system, which can be used by the dental nurse to remove any water or various contaminants from the patient's mouth during procedures, both to make it easy for the dentist to see what's going on and to make it more comfortable for the patient. We always have two chairs, one for the operator and one for the dental nurse.

Skip to 1 minute and 31 secondsMany modern procedures can take several hours to do, and so the operators do need to be comfortable. The dental nurse's one is very often one of these round ones with the bar on it. And many dental nurses like to lean on the front of this while they're working to support their weight so they're comfortable and can work through the longer procedures.

Skip to 1 minute and 54 secondsThere's a whole variety of cupboards and drawers where instruments and materials are stored. It's important that these are kept in a consistent manner so the nurse knows where to find things very quickly during procedures. We've got gloves of various sizes and masks. These are important to reducing cross-infection between the operator and the patient to reduce the spread of especially aerosols from sick patients or if the dentist has a bit of a cold.

Skip to 2 minutes and 24 secondsA barber's mirror is an important part of dentistry today. Many patients are having work done to improve the appearance of their teeth. And patients do like to have a look before they leave the surgery to make sure that they're satisfied with the work that's been done. And it's very important that a dentist knows a patient's satisfied before a patient leaves.

Skip to 2 minutes and 52 secondsWe also need to wear safety glasses. And most operators nowadays use glasses with some sort of magnification. I always use these with a through-the-lens magnification just because the work is quite intricate, and it's less tiring if you can see it magnified and see it larger. The very least that you can wear are these little plastic safety glasses. These are very good at preventing splatter of particles onto the face. And we also give them patients to wear as well so that they don't get any droplets of any materials onto their face.

Skip to 3 minutes and 26 secondsSome of the materials we use nowadays are what's known as command set. This means that when we've dispensed the material and applied it to the patient's tooth, it stays in the same state until we're ready for the material to be hardened. There's been quite an advancement in recent years, because it means we have longer to work and produce work of a higher standard. When you activate this light-cure unit, it produce an intense blue light. And this serves to cause the resin to polymerise and to harden to it is strong enough to withstand forces in the patient's mouth. At the end of the procedure, there'll be a variety of materials and instruments we need to dispose of.

Skip to 4 minutes and 3 secondsAnd this needs to be done in an environmentally conscious and efficient manner. So we have to do this into multiple routes. We have an ordinary dust bin, where we can put any clean paper and packaging. Any specialist waste, possibly dental amalgam or old dental crowns, need to go into these sort of little bins. Contaminated plastics and paper and things go into clinical waste. And used dental instruments go into a box, which is sealed and can then be moved around the building for decontamination.

Skip to 4 minutes and 37 secondsSo those are the basic things you'll find in a modern dental surgery.

A tour of the dental surgery

In this video Dr Adrian Jowett, dentist and Head of the Academic Unit of Primary Dental Care at the University of Sheffield, gives us a tour of Surgery 5.

Adrian talks through the space and equipment, and offers insights into the surgery that you might not have noticed before.

Share this video:

This video is from the free online course:

Discover Dentistry

The University of Sheffield