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Deciding on the Best Dental Chairs Available Today

Deciding on the Best Dental Chairs Available Today

When looking for the best dental chair, you can’t help but ask, “For whom?” Is it the best dental chair for the patient or for the professional? You have to admit, as the health care professional, that even though technology has been kind to chair designs, patients never look forward to spending hours with their mouths open for hours on end.

So should the focus be on maximum patient comfort? Not entirely. Dentists still have to spend hours hovering over their patients, which can’t be comfortable for long. The ideal thing to do is to compromise in a chair design—find something that works for both the patient and the dentist.

What are the best dental chair features to look out for? 

It’s great that dental chair manufacturers have made drastic changes to chair designs, but some companies just go overkill with their features. Here are the main design features you want to have in your dental chair. After these, any other feature is an added bonus. Let’s see what the chair should have, based on its primary users.

For the patient 

All the patient cares about is comfort—not how uncomfortable the dentist feels when bent over them, not how much effort it takes to concentrate over the dentist’s work, not how disconcerting it is staring into someone else’s mouth for hours on end. Their primary concern is whether the chair cushions their buns well enough, whether they have somewhere to keep their arms, and how uncomfortable spitting will be. 

For patient comfort, manufacturers usually focus on the plushness of the seat—lots of foam on the chair and an adjustable headrest. Some even take it further by using material that conforms to the shape of each patient, which is important especially if your practice treats both adults and children. Premium dental chairs include massages and even heaters to keep the chair warm. Heated chairs are an example of going overboard, since most dentists have heating units in their office. 

For the dentist 

Dentists have to move around quite a bit—to collect instruments, to reposition patients, or just to give sufficient room for their hygienists or assistants to follow the procedures. So there’s a lot to focus on here. Let’s take a look at each one of them.

  • Ergonomic design. As the dentist, since you’ll be performing the procedure, you want a chair that allows you to get as close to the patient as possible without causing discomfort. You want a chair that affords you a healthy posture.
  • Functionality. The best dental chairs come with easy-to-access control buttons. These buttons allow you to change the position of your seat or your patient’s seat with ease, and some even have light adjustments within easy reach.
  • Aesthetics. Because dental chairs are medical fixtures, they have to be wiped down often with chemicals and other solutions. With time, these chemicals will wear out the surface of the chair, and the color starts to fade out. When choosing your chair, aside from the obvious (the chair’s aesthete material, that is), you should note how durable the material is—that is, if it will stand the test of time and the test of different cleaning solutions. The last thing you want to do is to have to replace your chair after just a year because it has lost its initial sheen.
  • Construction. Another thing to consider is the sturdiness of its frame. Frames are usually made of metal, but the type of metal used—steel, aluminum, or any other metal—will determine its durability. Steel is usually heavier but will corrode easily if not double-coated. Aluminum is considered a top-notch alternative to steel because it isn’t as heavy as steel and looks better. The frame’s structure is what will support the dental chair. Make sure to achieve the right balance between an affordable price point and solid construction on which the foundation should be based.

Dental chair extras 

Most dental chairs focus solely on the comfort of the patient and dentists, but every now and then, you’ll find dental chair manufacturers who go the extra mile with their designs. Some chairs come with light fixtures and others with a full dental operational console so they’re all in one while others just stick with the basics. 

Bottom line? 

When choosing the best dental chair for your practice, it’s necessary that you consider features that not only affect your client’s comfort but also your ability to do your job as a dentist effectively. Consider the extra amenities with which each chair comes and the benefits each amenity provides. If your office is already fully equipped with all you need to perform your tasks adequately, you should go for more basic dental chairs that offer comfort to you and your patient.

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