Article in the August 2018 issue of the magazine Hammas.
The US company Zirc offers innovative products to facilitate the use, sterilisation and storage of dental instruments and materials. Thanks to colour coding, it is possible to create a convenient and functional system that makes daily sterilisation and dental care work more efficient. Karin Aarniste, CEO of Ortostuudio, provides a brief overview of the products of Zirc, and Dr. Merike Immato, manager of Lumen Dental Clinic in Viimsi, shares her experience in using them.
What products does Zirc offer?
Karin: Zirc offers a variety of dental supplies and instruments, such as trays, mouth mirrors, cassettes, drill holders, organisational boxes, etc. Their products provide numerous ways to create the most convenient and logical system to make your work easier. Zirc products are characterised by high-quality materials, convenience and user-friendliness.
They are unique in that the colour range is very wide – everything from pastels to neon shades. And it is exactly with the help of colour coding that it is possible to create a simple and functional system, thanks to which doctors and assistants can quickly get into the groove of the work process. Colour coding is the most effective way to organise work, prepare for and conduct procedures and eliminate mess. Moreover, colour codes provide quick information without having to read labels or sort materials.
Who are these products for?
Karin: The products are primarily designed to facilitate the work of doctors and their assistants. From the assistant’s point of view, Zirc products enable them to create a system that is convenient, quick and easy to manage. From the doctor’s point of view, it is important that the assistant gets all the necessary procedures done as quickly as possible. Zirc products are ideal for both smaller and bigger clinics to operate systematically and have a good overview of the instruments and tools. These products are also great for doctors who work alone because the instruments and materials can be divided into large boxes on the basis of procedures.
What are Zirc products made from?
Karin: All Zirc products are made from high-quality durable plastic that has a long lifespan. The surfaces of trays and boxes are self-lubricating, thanks to which stains and liquids are not easily absorbed. They also contain an antimicrobial additive and meet all requirements. The products are safe to use because the trays, some boxes and cassettes have non-slip rubber bottoms for stability. Additionally, trays and boxes have locking covers. If you drop the tray, the instruments will not fall out and liquids will not spill. Zirc Crystal HD mirrors, which are the favourite of many dentists, are also special. They are essential for doctors who work with microscopes or prismatic loupes. There selection of mirrors is wide: classic stainless steel mirror heads, mirror heads covered with special antibacterial plastic, mirrors with handles. However, the mirror lens is the most important thing which makes the product especially valuable and user-friendly. Namely, the mirror lens has 75 layers applied with the powder method. Thanks to this, there is no colour distortion. They layers also make the mirror very bright, allowing you to see all the little details.
Lumen Dental Clinic is one of the first in Estonia where a comprehensive and simple system has been created with Zirc products to facilitate the everyday sterilisation and dental work.
How did you discover these products and how did you implement them?
Merike: I had heard of Zirc products before they were even sold in Estonia. Thanks to our good cooperation partners from Ortostuudio, I had the chance to get to know the products a few years later. I am certainly not an expert when it comes to these products; however, as we were opening a new clinic, we had to figure out how to create a work-friendly system and environment that also meets modern requirements. We were considering Zirc products for a long time. They look aesthetically pleasing – beautiful and colourful, but we also wanted to make sure they function. Thus, we decided to try something new that had just been introduced to the Estonian market. Based on these products, we determined the dimensions of the cabinets and drawers in the new clinic.
Order and systems are necessary in every company, especially in dentistry where lots of instruments and tools are used daily (including very small ones). In my opinion, Zirc products allow us to create the necessary system.
What should be considered when purchasing new products?
Merike: The introduction of the products requires time and dedication. A well-thought-out system needs to be created and then staff need to be trained. We are still working on that. At first, it may seem like a huge financial commitment, but over time it will be worth it – even in the form of storage which will make instruments last longer.
What should you keep in mind when creating a system?
Merike: I did not want to tell my employees how the system should be set up. Rather, I wanted to hear their ideas and take them into account to ensure that the work processes are the efficient and convenient. Functional trays with closing covers, cassettes for instruments, or boxes designed for different procedures are all very convenient and secure. The sterilisation process is a very important part of dentistry, in which case the well-thought-out placement and storage of instruments plays a big role. However, it all begins with dividing the sterilisation room into two: the clean and dirty side.
How did you choose the product colours?
Merike: In the choice of colours, we followed the idea that all accessories that are visible in the office should have more muted colours. The reason is simple: since the tray is almost always in sight, bright colours would just strain the eyes. That is why we chose beige and light blue. Everything else – cassettes, boxes, etc. – that is hidden in drawers and cabinets is colourful.
What are the biggest advantages of Zirc products?
Merike: The biggest advantage is time, even in dentistry time is money and people are starting to realise that more and more. For example, when assistants are placing instruments in an ultrasonic bath or cleaner, they also put the accessories in the cassettes. That cassette then goes into packaging and then into the autoclave. From there, the instrument will be put in its respective drawer. It saves a lot of time. I believe that Zirc products really contribute to the modern sterilisation process. Previously we had to place instruments on the autoclave trays one by one so that they would not touch each other. Currently, every instrument has its own place. These cassettes can be assembled in a variety of ways: by tray, by procedure, etc.
Interviewer: Britta Sepp