Deliver Safety and Functionality with the 5 Best Dental Delivery Systems

dental delivery systems

What is a Dental Delivery System?

Dental delivery systems are the central hub of a dental clinic. It is where all the necessary dentistry tools and equipment are placed, and it is designed to provide easy access for the dentists and assistants in regards to equipment as well as the patient. This is an integral part when it comes to achieving success in dental surgery or procedures. The dental delivery system must be completely compatible with the seat and the clinic itself. Think of your clinic like a well-oiled machine that is comprised of several integral pieces that must work together with the highest synergy. Having the best dental equipment and system at hand will result in optimum productivity, convenience, and for your patients; safety and comfort.

The dental deliver system can also positively affect the dentist’s musculoskeletal health as it allows them to operate on the patient on the best possible angles. A well designed and perfectly compatible dental delivery system will also allow the dentist and their assistant to work effortlessly and prevent any level of physical strain when it comes to reaching and using the right dental tool for any given situation. Take note that there are several types of dental delivery systems to choose from, and knowing the key differences between each type will help you determine which is the best one for your clinic.

Dentist, Assistant, and Dental Delivery System Relationship

It is also imperative to take the dentist’s assistant when it comes to choosing the right dental delivery system. Can the assistant function smoothly when using said dental delivery system? This is an often-overlooked aspect of delivery systems but is an integral aspect of this equipment. The assistant must be able to reach all necessary instruments and handpieces during the procedure without a hint of difficulty. This will significantly improve the overall experience and streamline the operation during dental surgeries resulting in the highest level of productivity.

When it comes to utilizing dental delivery systems, it is noted that the tools and handpieces that are frequently used be positioned nearest to the assistant. It is best if the arrangement of dental handpieces is planned to offer maximum benefits to the assistant. Another essential factor to note when it comes to the dental delivery system is the hose. Consider getting ISO-C or silicone straight six-pin tubing. Fiber-optic networks typically provide higher light output; however, this comes at the cost of being more rigid and more massive, which can lead to muscular strain during operations.

Types of Dental Delivery Systems

As we have noted earlier, there are several types of dental delivery systems available. Specifically, there are four types that you can choose. Each of these delivery systems provides individual advantages and disadvantages which is crucial to understand to prevent issues in the future. We will be listing these delivery systems as well as where each version’s strength lies. Let us begin.

Rear-Delivery System

As the name implies, this is a dental delivery system which is designed to be positioned behind the patient. This delivery system helps free up a considerable amount of space to help provide flexibility in setting up larger equipment used during certain operations. Additionally, a rear-deliver system is more affordable. This system is also designed so that the dental equipment won’t be in the patient’s view, which can assist in reducing anxiety.

When it comes to functionality, the rear-deliver system is best suited for dentists with assistants. This is due to the positioning of the delivery system, which is within arm’s reach of the assistant and allows for a streamlined transfer of different handpieces between dentist and assistant. That said, for two-handed functionality – a rear-delivery system is certainly not the best option for the simple reason that this system is located in a position wherein the dentist will often move to reach specific handpieces. This can lead to some muscular pain due to straining as operators will repeatedly need to extensively and regularly retrieve handpieces.

Picking the perfect angle when operating on a patient means that the operator or dentist must be able to position themselves freely on all sides, particularly between the 11 o’clock and 1 o’clock positions. This isn’t easy to achieve with the rear-delivery system, which is why this is explicitly recommended for four-handed operations (a dentist with an assistant) only.


  • Placement of the delivery system is completely obscured from patient’s peripherals.
  • Can be switched between left-handed and right-handed operators.
  • The most affordable type of dental delivery system in the market.
  • Does not offer any sense of confinement for the patient.
  • Can be easily connected to in-wall equipment.
  • Assistants have complete access to instruments.


  • More extensive and bulkier design means it is the least flexible delivery system.
  • The handpiece holder is placed worryingly close to the dentist’s arms.
  • The cumbersome design makes entry to the operatory significantly limited.
  • Not ideal for two-handed operation.

Side-Delivery System

In comparison to the rear-delivery system, the side-delivery is best suited for two-handed operations. Side-delivery systems, when installed in the best possible angle, can provide the most comfortable experience for operators as it will eliminate the need to twist or strain too much when reaching for a particular tool or handpiece. A side-delivery system that is correctly position provides more convenience when changing burs as the operator will not need to resort to awkward postures.

While the primary advantage of side-delivery systems is that it is stable and can easily be ‘locked’ into place, this can also lead to some issues in the long run. The reason for this particular concern is that due to the side-delivery system being locked into place for prolonged periods. This causes certain parts of the body to get over exhausted as the operator will mostly work in the same position throughout the day and the next day. While stability is highly welcome, mobility is a more critical element in a dental delivery system.

Maneuverability around the patient can also be hampered when using a side-deliver system. This means that the operator might be required to lean over or go into a rather uncomfortable and awkward position to get the right angle on their patient’s oral cavity. This also means that retrieval of specific handpieces and instrument by the assistant might be hindered as well, which compromises overall productivity. It would be best if you also considered the fact that side-delivery systems are typically not interchangeable for left and right-handed operations. This means that it severely lacks in overall flexibility.

Lack of flexibility is the primary concern regarding the side-delivery system, especially with all the advancements in the industry; it might not take long for this type of dental delivery system to be phased out. That is unless it can adapt to the changing times with a more ergonomically-friendly design.


  • Allows patients comfortable access to the dental chair.
  • Does not impede the patient’s movements.
  • Can be easily connected to in-wall equipment.


  • Not ergonomically designed for dentists.
  • They are designed primarily for two-handed operation.
  • The general design does not allow for the system to convert to left-handed or right-handed operation.

Over-the-Patient System

Over-the-Patient or OTP deliver systems offer considerably more mobility to the operator. This type of delivery system is designed to provide dentists with the utmost freedom to maneuver freely between the 8 o’clock and 12 o’clock positions without any obstructions. This is another dental delivery system that is designed for two-handed operations. OTP systems are located above the chest of the patient making reaching for handpieces and tools extremely easy for both dentist and their assistants.

While the overall convenience that OTP delivery systems deliver to the operator and assistant is unquestionable, it does come with issues in regards to the patient. Since it is positioned over the chest of the patient, it runs the risk of being accidentally bumped. It may also give the patient a feeling of being constrained into a single position which can increase overall anxiety. As for dentists, there will be occasions wherein they will need to raise their arm at shoulder length regularly when operating on patients at a certain angle, which may lead rotator cuff injuries down the line.

Due to the need for extending arms at shoulder length, the OTP delivery system will be an issue for operators with a shorter build or height. This is even more glaring in situations wherein dentists will need to operate on significantly larger patients as they run the risk of hyperextending their shoulders and neck. Also, OTP delivery systems are not designed for particular accessories such as microscopes as it will obstruct access to dental instruments when operating at the 11 o’clock to 12 o’clock positions. If you are to choose an OTP delivery system, we highly recommend you opt for units that can be adjusted and positioned beside the patient with ease.

The fact that OTP delivery systems provide extensive levels of flexibility also lead to some issues. For example, you should refrain from positioning the OTP system below the chest of the patient. While this will allow the patient adequate movement, it also means that your assistant might need to extend and twist to retrieve a particular instrument for the operation.

What the OTP deliver system provides is flexibility. While it certainly comes with its issues, as noted above, these can be rectified with proper adjustments. It does take away from convenience, though, but another essential element of the OTP system is with its resale value. Since it can be adapted to both left-handed and right-handed operators, OTP systems cast a far wider net when it comes resale. That said, take into account your entire operatory before going with the OTP delivery system as it can cause some issues within particular settings.


  • Ergonomic design with an emphasis on flexibility and maneuverability.
  • Can switch between left-handed and right-handed operation.
  • Stable and moves alongside the chair, keeping constant height at all times.
  • Compact and well-designed to optimize space inside the clinic.
  • Grants both operator and assistant access to handpieces and dental chair system switch.


  • Can obstruct movement and view of patients.
  • All instruments are in plain view of the patient, which might increase anxiety.
  • Not an ideal setup when treating children or patients that have conditions that cause unpredictable or bursts of physical movements.

Over-the-Head Systems

A relatively new delivery system in the industry is the Over-the-Head system. Think of the OTH System as a hybrid of sorts which combines the benefits and advantages of other delivery systems while circumventing and skirting around the common issues that plague traditional delivery systems. In particular, the OTH system combines OTP and rear-delivery systems. It adds more freedom of movement for the operator by allowing them to angle in between the 7 o’clock and 10 o’clock positions. An OTH delivery system excels in delivering flexibility as it is designed to switch between left to right-handed functionality easily. It is a far more flexible delivery system compared to the OTP.


  • Compact and ergonomic design.
  • They are designed to be compatible with additional dental operatory accessories.
  • Provides assistants and dentists with full maneuverability around the operatory.
  • The dental instruments are well-hidden from the patient’s view.
  • Easily convertible between left-handed and right-handed operation.


  • Not generally compatible with X-Ray equipment add-on.
  • Dental Delivery System Buying Guide

The dental delivery system is an integral part that houses instruments and handpieces used in dentistry. It needs to have certain qualities that work in perfect synergy with all other equipment in the operatory. First and foremost, the delivery system must be able to offer easy access to all the dental instruments or handpieces, vacuum, water/air syringes, and many more. Because of this particular factor, it is vital to take into consideration your personal preference. Choosing the best type of dental delivery system will be subjective and what fits perfectly for one operatory setting may not yield the same results for another.

General dental delivery system designs implement auto-activation of at least three dental instruments. Of course, other delivery systems can provide more options for add-on integration which is another critical element to consider when buying a delivery system – especially if you are buying to replace or upgrade your current operatory. Take note that manufacturers should also provide extensive warranty periods and should be on-hand for questions and technical support.

Two Vital Factors to Look for in a Dental Delivery System

When it comes to dental deliver systems, two factors will play an integral part when it comes to overall experience and functionality of the dental delivery system:

  • Maneuverability
  • Accessibility

Maneuverability is crucial during operation. The dentist must have a full range of motion and can operate on a wide variety of angles. A dental delivery system must be able to provide excellent levels of movement for both operator and assistant. Accessibility is also an integral factor to consider. Dentists and their assistant must have full access to instruments and handpieces at all times. Retrieving and returning said instruments should also provide little to no difficulty.

When it comes to picking the right the delivery system, you always ask yourself these three questions. Think of these questions as a guide that will help you determine the best option in terms of delivery systems:

  • Is the delivery system compatible with additional dental accessories?
  • Does the delivery system provide flexibility during different operations?
  • Is the delivery system convertible for both left-handed and right-handed operation?

Remembering these questions will help put you on the right track as to what type of dental delivery system will fit your preferences.

Essential Dental Delivery System Components

Of course, before heading out to buy a dental delivery system, you must know the key features that are mandatory for such equipment. We will be discussing these delivery system components in detail down below.

  • Delivery System Control Head

It is best to look for a delivery system that can accommodate various type of ancillary pieces such as curing light, intra-oral camera, scaler, and two electric motors. Consider that even if you are not utilizing these features at the moment, you might need to soon. It is best to make sure that your dental delivery system is compatible with new and advanced dental accessories.

  • Handpiece Control and Syringes

The delivery system must be able to provide excellent accessibility for handpieces and syringes.  It would help if you also considered basic functionalities, especially with the handpieces and the control block of the delivery system. Are the delivery blocks designed so that attaching and detaching a handpiece tubing can be done easily and quickly? Are the syringes easy to clean and maintain? Remember to take these questions into account in regards to the handpiece control and syringes of the delivery system.

  • Delivery System Arm

The delivery system arm should be as mobile as possible with several articulations. This will allow for optimum maneuverability for the operator/dentist and assistant while providing the patient with the utmost comfort. The delivery system arm should also be able to adjust appropriately to provide the best possible angles.

The Top 5 Best Dental Delivery Systems Manufacturers

To further help narrow down your search for the best dental delivery system, we have compiled a list of manufacturers and suppliers that come with excellent recommendations within the industry.

  1. A-Dec

A-Dec is one of the premiere names in dental equipment, and their delivery systems meet the standards that their reputation has set. A-Dec delivery systems are impeccably designed with a focus on functionality and compatibility with modern dentistry instruments. Based in Oregon, United States, A-Dec is one of the most trusted dental equipment manufacturers in the world. You can expect A-Dec’s dental delivery system to be well-equipped to handle the newest ancillary equipment as well as standard handpieces

2. Vic Dental

Up next is another well-known dental equipment manufacturer, Vic Dental. Known for its impressive array of ergonomically designed and modern dental equipment, Vic Dental has improved and proved their standing in the industry. Vic Dental also offers top-tier flexibility when it comes to their products as you can find all necessary dental equipment in their inventory. All products under their wing are also well-researched and developed by highly skilled engineers with years of experience in this field.

3. NSK Dental

NSK Dental is known as an innovator in the industry with their highly advanced dental equipment and systems. If you are looking for a supplier/manufacturer that delivers one of the best and most up-to-date equipment, NSK Dental is always the right place to start your search. The company is also well-established around the world with distributors located throughout Southeast Asia and the United States.

4. Planmeca

Planmeca is a long-standing Finnish dental equipment manufacturer that develops highly advanced dental equipment such as 3D digital imaging devices, dental delivery systems, and even software for digital instruments and equipment. Planmeca is at the forefront of dental technology advancements, making them one of the most sought-after manufacturers in this industry.

5. Tenko Medical

Developing and producing some of the most comprehensive and advanced medical equipment in the industry, Tenko Medical is synonymous with reliability. Tenko Medical offers one of the most robust dental delivery systems with industry-grade build and material. There is a reason for their high recommendation rating in the medical industry. While their equipment and systems lack that ergonomic and sleek aesthetic, they more than make up for it in overall quality.

Final Thoughts

The dental delivery system can be seen as the ‘heart and blood’ of the operatory. It is the central hub wherein the instruments are held. Not all delivery systems are made equally, and choosing the right one will need careful consideration from the dentist. They need to take into account the space of their clinic, their preference, as well as their assistant’s. As long as you placed every piece of the puzzle in the right order, you can bet you will be able to narrow down your options towards the best possible choices.