DT The Dental Treatment Room
You will receive 1 credit(s) of continuing education credit upon successful completion of this course. The purchase price of this course is $49.00


This course describes the dental treatment room, its equipment and technology, the importance of disinfecting dental equipment, four-handed dentistry, ergonomics, motion economy, the four zones of activity, and systems of instrument delivery.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to do the following:

  1. Identify the purpose of the dental treatment room.
  2. Describe the role technology will play in the dental office.
  3. Describe ways technology is transforming the practice of health care.
  4. Describe the dental operatory equipment.
  5. Describe high-tech tools and equipment used in today’s dental office.
  6. Describe how to disinfect dental equipment.
  7. Describe four-handed dentistry and how it enhances the delivery of dental care.
  8. Define ergonomics as it applies to dentistry.
  9. Describe some workplace adaptations to implement ergonomics into your daily dental assisting routine.
  10. Define motion economy and the five categories of motion dental care.
  11. Define the four zones of activity.
  12. Define the systems for instrument delivery.


The dental operatory, or treatment room, is the work area of the dentist and clinical assistant. It is designed for speed, efficiency, and comfort. Common operatory equipment includes the dental chair, dental unit, dental operating light, x-ray machine, operating stools, mobile carts, and cabinets. High-tech tools include air abrasion cavity preparation systems, lasers, CAD/CAM systems, computers and associated equipment, curing lights, digital radiographic equipment, and intraoral cameras. In four-handed dentistry, dentists work with one or more clinical assistants positioned around the patient using instruments arranged on a specially designed pre-set tray in their sequence of use. Four-handed dentistry takes into consideration ergonomics, or the physical relationship between people and their environment. It is very important in the dental operatory to adapt equipment and instruments to the worker. Four-handed dentistry is based on the principles of motion economy, which eliminates or minimizes the number and length of motions used at chairside. There are four zones of activity around which the dental team works and three basic systems for instrument delivery.


1.    The Dental Treatment Room

2.    Operatory Equipment

3.    High Tech Tools

4.    Equipment Disinfection

5.    Four-handed Dentistry

6.    Ergonomics

7.    Dental Assistant Positioning

8.    Motion Economy

9.    Operating Zones

10.   Systems for Instrument Delivery

  1. Dederich DN, Bushick RD. Lasers in dentistry: separating science from hype. JADA 2004;35:204-12.
  2. Reprinted with permission of Design/Ergonomics, Inc. www.desergo.com
  3. Ahearn D. Ten essential elements of a productive treatment room – part 1. Dent Econ June 2002.

American Dental Association is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider.

ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry.