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Dental Disposables Checklist for Your Dental Practice

Dental Disposables Checklist for Your Dental Practice


Dental disposables play a key role in clinical treatment applications – no matter the specialty. Safco Dental Supply is here to provide you with the best dental products on the market. We are also here to ensure that you are fully informed on the technical aspects of each product. Within this article, we will discuss various different types of dental disposable items, as well as their practical uses. 


What Are Dental Disposables?

Dental disposables are products and instruments that are reserved for one-time use and will be disposed of after they have been used, such as cotton rolls, bibs, gloves, paper towels, and more. 


In most cases, these types of dental equipment are designed to be single-use in order to promote hygiene, safety, and cleanliness, as well as to provide convenience for both the patients and dental professionals alike.


Disposable products eliminate the time that is otherwise spent cleaning and sanitizing reusable items, allowing your staff members to spend more time caring for your patients. 


Essential Dental Disposables Checklist for Dentists

Here, we will break down some of the most popular types of dental disposable products, as well as their uses.


  • Dental bibs/patient towels: Dental bibs, otherwise known as patient bibs or patient towels, are used not only to protect the patient’s clothes, but to prevent saliva, blood, or chemicals from dropping on the patient during their treatment. 
  • Cotton rolls: Cotton rolls are typically used to keep the operative intraoral area clean and free of excess saliva or other fluids.  
  • Cotton tip applicators: Cotton tipped applicators have a wide range of uses in the dental industry. They can be used for applying topical numbing agents or medication to the tooth and/or gums. They may also be used to take cultures or clean wounds. 
  • Cups: Cups are typically provided to patients in order to allow them to rinse out their mouths quickly and conveniently. Of course, they can also be used to provide a drink of water for patients and clinical team members alike. 
  • Headrest covers: Headrest covers are used to protect the headrest of the dental chair from contamination between different patients. 
  • Sponges: Dental sponges including non-woven sponges, cotton filled exodontia sponges, and unfilled gauze sponges can be used to absorb blood and saliva after a tooth extraction. They may also be used during and/or after periodontal procedures. 
  • Tray covers: Tray covers are used as a barrier against contamination and help cut down on the amount of time that is used to clean and sterilize trays between patients. 
  • Bib clips: Bib clips hold the patient napkin in place around the patient’s neck. Using disposable bib clips is the best way to ensure that all items used for your patients’ procedures are completely sterile. 
  • Facial Tissue/Bathroom Tissue: Of course, you will need to ensure that the restrooms in your practice are fully stocked with bathroom tissue.  
  • C-fold Towels/Multifold towels: Multifold towels can be used for things such as wiping down surfaces in the operatories or drying hands after they have been washed. Multifold towels can be placed inside convenient dispenser containers that can be hung in the operating rooms. 
  • Roll Towels: Rolls of paper towels can be placed inside the staff break room to help keep surfaces wiped down and clean.


Maintaining an Inventory of Dental Disposables

Ensuring that your dental office is always well-stocked with the dental disposables you need is a crucial part of dental practice management. 


It is best to keep a detailed inventory log that is updated and thoroughly checked at least once each week. Determine how many units of each item you must have on hand in order to promote a streamlined working environment.


This allows you to keep an eye on what you have as well as what you need, so that you can place an order in a timely manner and avoid shortages.


How to Keep Track of Dental Disposables Inventory

Maintaining an efficient inventory management system is crucial for streamlining your dental office and keeping your dental equipment organized and stress-free. It is also an integral part of developing your own standard operating procedures.


This is the best way to ensure that all team members know exactly where to find what they need, nothing is allowed to run out of stock, and nothing is being over-ordered.


The first thing to do is create a detailed stock/inventory list. Your stock list should contain the following information:

  • The name of every product that is used in your practice
  • The location where each product is stored
  • An estimation of the number of products that should be kept on hand at all times
  • Expiration dates of products that are currently in stock
  • Supplier information
  • Item number or MFG number


You can use programs like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets to create a spreadsheet to keep track of your dental equipment and supplies. Alternatively, you can use a dental inventory management software to help streamline the entire process. You may also benefit from saving your dental supply provider product pages and or linking to your account directly within your inventory spreadsheet.


You will also want to ensure that your stockroom is thoroughly organized. This will ensure that:

  • All team members are able to find exactly what they are looking for 
  • Products that are set to expire soon can be identified and used in a timely fashion
  • A close eye can be kept on the inventory levels to ensure that nothing runs out of stock


Disposing of Dental Disposables Properly

After you have finished using your dental disposables, it is important to ensure that they are disposed of properly. Different types of waste must be properly disposed of as per the most current health regulations and safety protocols.


The method of disposal will depend upon the item and how it was used. For instance, dental sponges or cotton rolls that have come into contact with bodily waste are considered to be a biohazard and will have to be disposed of as hazardous waste.


Patient towels and bib clips are also considered to be hazardous waste, as they will have come in contact with saliva and/or blood. Biohazard materials should be disposed of using biohazard bags.


Instruments such as needles and disposable scalpels are classified as sharps and must be disposed of in a special sharps disposal container. In most cases, you will need to enlist the help of a professional medical waste service that will perform regularly-scheduled pick-ups for both your sharps and hazardous waste disposal.


Alternatively, tri-fold towels that have simply been used to dry hands at a hand-washing station can be disposed of as regular waste.


For more information about how to properly dispose of the waste in your dental practice, check out this informative article on medical waste disposal published by the American Dental Association. For even more helpful information, check out the ADA’s official Tip Sheet on Medical Waste Disposal.


Explore Disposables and More Dental Supplies from Safco

Dental disposables can help you prevent cross contamination and ensure complete infection control in your dental practice. 


For high-quality instruments and dental equipment, place your trust in Safco Dental Supply. We provide a wide range of disposable dental products to fit every need, with free shipping on orders over $250. From impression trays to needles, we have you covered.


We strive to get you your products as fast as possible. All orders placed before 4:30 pm CST (3:30 pm on Friday) are shipped out same-day.


Give us a call at 800.621.2178 to speak with one of our experts about finding the best dental disposables for your practice.

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