Dentist offices are business establishments owned and run by a dental professional. The office handles not only clinical services and treatments, but also clerical and financial concerns.

Dental offices operate on a set schedule and are generally open weekdays during the day, though some practices may offer weekend and evening appointments. Depending on the size of the practice, there are often multiple dentists in the practice and each has an assigned area where they treat patients. This arrangement allows for more availability to see patients and reduces wait time.

Upon arrival, patients usually greet receptionists in the waiting room where they can inquire about services, request or change appointments and purchase merchandise like toothpaste or floss. They can also ask about their patient records, which can be provided to them via printouts or sent over the internet or by phone.

A dental clinic is a separate room within a dental office where all tools needed for dental procedures and treatment are placed. They include dental chairs, lighting equipment, handheld instruments, suction machines, oral irrigators and laser machines. They are separated from the rest of the office for hygiene and infection control purposes (see Chapter 43).

A lab area is a center where dental laboratory procedures are performed. These include pouring impressions, preparing diagnostic models, and creating custom impression trays. The lab also contains a sterilization center, which must be kept organized and clean at all times to ensure safety for staff and patients. Dentist office

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