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The Concepts of Four-handed Dentistry Including Ergonomic Instrument Transfer and Exercises for Stress Reduction

Course Number: 643

Syringe Transfer

The syringe transfer takes place while the patient is supine and finds it difficult to see under their chin. It enables the operator and assistant to transfer the anesthetic syringe safely; thus, avoiding undue patient stress. This transfer also occurs within the transfer zone.

This transfer requires that the assistant and operator plan the technique to avoid the potential of a needle stick. Often the operator prefers to transfer the instrument behind the patient. This area is outside the transfer zone, causing the assistant to use a Class V movement and violate safe transfer. This transfer can be adapted to the use of wand type anesthesia very effectively. Care should be taken that the base unit is located nearby the assistant for easy access. Using a traditional anesthetic syringe, the following steps may be followed:

  • Some states allow dental assistants to apply topical anesthetic. When transfer is necessary, a 2 x 2 gauze is passed to dry the site. Topical anesthetic may be applied as a spray, patch, or with a cotton-tipped applicator.

  • The syringe is held in the assistant’s right hand when assisting a right-handed operator while the assistant stabilizes the operator’s hand using a firm grasp. The assistant delivers the syringe and the operator may remove the protective cap as an unsheathed syringe should never be passed. There are some assistants who remove the protective cap since this needle must be sterile.

Syringe Transfer - Figure 2
  • The operator completes the injection.

  • The operator places the syringe in a recapping device. Though it requires a movement out of the operator’s zone, this process avoids a potential accident.

Syringe Transfer - Figure 3
  • The mouth may be rinsed at this time if any bitter-tasting anesthetic dripped onto the patient’s tongue.