Dental Cabinetry

Everything There Is To Know About Dental Cabinetry

Structured uniquely to enhance the performance in Dental Operatory, Dental Cabinetry does a critical job in your operatory room, storing instruments and supplies, and increasing the productivity and workflow. When your supplies and tools are well stored, reasonably accessible, organized, and ready to grab and use instantly, the overall effectiveness and quality of the operatory increase significantly. The evolution of the Dental Cabinetry not only enhanced the storage and the mechanics of the work but also provided a significant development in the aseptic conditions in operation place. When using sterile tools, the number of touchpoints and the frequency of touching inventory is substantially needed to be as low as possible. This is to maintain sterile conditions and to help work with aseptic techniques.

History of Dental Cabinetry

The modern structure started to be manufactured by A-dec (Austin Dental Equipment Company) in 1983. They launched a whole line providing dentists with various options, giving them control over their instruments and equipment, and improving infection control standards in operatory settings.

The use of Dental Cabinetry

The primary use of dental cabinetry in your clinic is storage; providing a smart place for all your medical instruments, and tools, and adding other valuable functions like:

1- Provide ergonomic positioning

The significant impact of the optimized ergonomics in the operatory, which is enhanced by the structure and design of the cabinet, makes the dentist's physical work more comfortable and efficient. It makes the workflow in the area more comfortable and organized.

2- The Marked organization

Drawers can be marked with color code bins; each color refers to a category of materials and instruments, which helps to organize the practice and minimize the time consumed in the process.

3- Added Functionality

An optional ICV system could be added to your cabinet to enhance the cleaning system, increase the efficiency and speed of vacuum line work, and make it simpler.

4- Aseptic conditions

The dental cabinetry is equipped with foot pedals, which work by easy foot touch, reduce the total touchpoints and the average frequency of contact by hand, and promote sterile workflow and secure high infection control standards.

5-Functional control center 

Dental cabinetry is a smart control center that manages essential operating functions like clock, lighting, timers, ICV system, and other chair functions.

Complications of using Dental Cabinetry

The type and structure you choose should be convenient to your workplace. It should match the requirements of your workflow and help you keep your performance well optimized, enhancing productivity. Some problems may arise while using the system, especially with the central operating system, with the cabinet set up to serve multiple operating chairs. Cross-contamination between patients is the highest consideration for the medical staff. Proper training of assistants should be employed to navigate between various units and the central cabinet with accuracy and according to infection control standards to prevent errors while dispensing instruments.

Different types of Dental Operatory Cabinets

 1- Central Cabinetry

The design of central cabinets is practically to share workforce and space in the clinic. These central cabinets can function to create a partition between neighboring operatory settings while allowing sharing significant functions—center islands equipped with an x-ray system in a passage cabinet that serves multiple units.

2- Rear Cabinetry

Rear cabinets are positioned behind the dental chair and provide the dentist and assistants a synchronized workflow and an optimized ergonomics. The back cabinet is in a position where it is accessible at the same time while working on the operating chair. Therefore, it is highly likely to be integrated with a delivery system, and it is mostly equipped with a computer system to manage the clinical documents.

3- Side cabinetry

Side cabinets designs provide a more accessible and more optimized storing area for your instruments and materials used in the dentist room. These cabinet units are placed in parallel with a sidewall of the operatory. Usually, they consist of multiple and variable shelves and counter spaces.


4- Mobile Operatory Design

The design of mobile cabinets is exclusively to function between different dentist rooms. They could be transferred from one place to another quickly and conveniently, to cover a large workflow when using multiple rooms to operate. These mobile carts should feature durable wheels and a solid body to withstand the need for frequent moves during work between units or rooms. 

5- Sterilization Cabinetry Design

Sterilization cabinet structure ensures the highest possible standards of sterilization and sanitization. It provides an aseptic condition for storing instruments and equipment.

Sterilization cabinets are structured to serve an entire operatory room or share with multiple operating units. These cabinets have a sterilizing system, consisting of autoclaves, washers, and other sterilization tools needed in the operatory rooms. 

General specifications of Dental Cabinetry

The previously mentioned structures of Dental Cabinets have different specifications, depending on the needed functions, available space, and the required storage capacity. However, we will mention the general specifications of The Central Cabinetry as a reference, as it has grown to be the most in-demand for operatory settings.

Design length


Design depth

 26" (660 mm)

Design Height

 88" (2235 mm)

Height of Countertop

 30" (762 mm)

Sink package

 Cantilevered, recessed sink with touch/proximity tap, soap dispenser, and waste drop


 glued wood-dowel frameless construction, medium-density particleboard core, with thermally fused melamine coating 


 Steel, brushed nickel finish

When taking Readings of dimensions, all measurements should be obtained on Jobsite with a laser scanner. All walls and other materials measurements must be digitized. They will be digitally transferred from the scanner data with a CNC to ensure an accurate and precise application for your piece. Also, to assure the highest fit for your room and the highest possible area optimization.

How dental cabinetry works

Generally, there are two categories of practitioners in direct touch with cabinets. They are doctors and assistants, so it is fair to say there are two main manuals for practitioners to use.

1- Doctor Cabinetry

Dental cabinetry is exclusively structured for dentists. It is equipped with fair enough storage to have the capacity for all the doctor's needed instruments, plus a hydro-system (tap), which is mostly activated by the dentist's knee to minimize touching by hand. The storage provides fast and easy accessibility to serve urgent demand. 

2- Assistant Cabinetry

The assistant Cabinetry focuses on the storage capacity, with the design orientation towards space-saving. With their hands-on all essential features like sterilization, A Markers based storage, and an X-ray system help assistant achieve the highest work performance with minimal errors.

Sterilization cabinetry workflow

The autoclave is the most commonly used sterilization device in dentistry. The concept of autoclave work depends on two significant elements: steam and pressure. When instruments get placed inside the autoclave, they are exposed to high-temperature steam somewhere around 132 degrees Celsius or 270 degrees Fahrenheit, for about 20 minutes. The time of exposure varies based on the quantity and size of the equipment that needs sterilization. This hot steam has a high bactericidal effect and considered a potent decontaminant compared to chemical detergent. The decontamination process follows a dirty-to-clean direction.

Cabinets should provide the following Essential areas for the sterilization process

1- Wrapping/unwrapping area to prepare the instruments before and after using the autoclave.

2- An area for the autoclave.

3- A cooling area to receive the instruments right after removal from the sterilizer.

4- A labeled box with a lid dedicated to securely transport the instruments to/from the sterilization area to the storage area or the operative place.

Market Leaders

1- Planmeca Company

 Top products: 1- Steri-Center Design 2- Optiline Design

2- A-dec (Austin Dental Equipment Company)

 Top products:  1-Treatment Console 2- Central Console

                           3- Side Console 4- Upper Dental Cabinets 

                           5- Sterilization Center

3- Patterson Companies Inc

 Top products: Configuration based designs ( Central, Rear, Side, Upper )

4- Ritter Concept GmbH

5- Midmark Corporation

 Top products: 1- Artizan® Expressions Central Station

                           2- Synthesis Treatment Stations

                           3- Artizan® Expressions Treatment Stations


Dental cabinetry has a variety of designs and structures, providing a wide range of functionality and options. The proper overall design for your operatory setting can enhance performance and effectiveness, achieve the highest demands of workflow, and the highest standards of quality and safety. 

Upon choice, consider checking the size of the treatment room, and make sure there will be enough space for comfortable movement around the operating chair, as assistants need a convenient area to move freely around the patient. You should also secure two entry points in each treatment room as the assistants need to enter and exit the room frequently. After placing the dental cabinetry, make sure that everything you use is in the optimal position.

When selecting your cabinet design, make sure you are making the best match to your operatory room needs, putting into consideration the space, number of operating chairs, rate of workflow, number of medical staff members, and the exact functions needed. 

This matching system is fundamental to selecting the perfect piece to fit in the system and achieve the highest expected functionality. Therefore, consult the manufacturer about options and possible customizations, as many companies offer customized dental cabinetry designs based on preferences and needs.

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