For ‘Decontamination Room basics’ go to Section 4

By far the biggest and most important piece of equipment is the dental chair. It is often the case that the dental chair dictates the entire layout of the room.

In the Resources Section, there is an outline of a typical dental chair that you can download and print out to give you an idea of scale.

The space needed around the head (minimum 650mm), foot and sides of the chair mean that it takes up a really big ‘footprint’ in the room.

Things to consider:

The cabinetry and worktops need to be accessible from the working position at the head of the chair.
Space is needed all around the chair.
Patient access into the chair needs to be as easy as possible.

The diagram below shows the basic measurements involved. The cabinets and worktops are (usually) 600mm deep. The gap to the head of the chair in a supine position needs to be a minimum of 650mm. A common dental chair is 1800mm long and at least 350mm is needed around the foot. With cabinetry behind the head of the chair, the total distance needed in the room is 3400mm.

This calculation means the dental chair is often restricted to 1 or 2 potential positions in the room. Once the door and windows are taken into account and patient access onto the chair is considered, there is usually an obvious place to put the chair.

Cabinetry and worktops can be made in different sizes and depths to fit the room and equipment so this should be considered after the position of the dental chair has been decided.

The most common cabinetry layout is an ‘L’ shape of worktops around the corner of a room. This means the chair sits diagonally across the room. Another common layout is to have a ‘Straight run’ of cabinetry behind the head of the chair. Or it’s possible to split the cabinetry and have storage and worktops in various positions in the room.