At Ease with Your Dream Dental Chair – Stuart Clark

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  Posted by: Dental Design      2nd February 2018

We know all too well that dental procedures, even a routine check-up, can be a difficult experience for anxious patients. There are many aspects that contribute to creating a welcoming and secure clinic environment, including all-important dental chairs.

It is on the chair that you come face to face with patients, you want to do your utmost to ensure they are sitting comfortably and relaxed, and you can proceed unimpeded in treating them.

You also know the long-term dangers to your own health from using poorly designed chairs that impede your movement and lead to bad posture – as well as potentially career-ending health conditions.

There are the numerous studies that confirm the physical strains of the job from routine twisting and turning of the body, particularly the head and neck. In one survey of dentists who took early retirement due to ill health, musculoskeletal disorders were the leading cause, and the same complaint was true for dental hygienists and dental hygienists.[i]

With all these considerations, you have probably created in your mind’s eye the perfect dental chair, a design that you have pondered after a long and strenuous day at work, or from lengthy discussions with your colleagues who have also suffered from this occupational hazard.

While each of us may have particular preferences, we will find common ground derived from our shared concerns and experiences: our ultimate chair is practical, reliable, flexible and stylish. One that has both you and your patient sitting pretty during the procedures.

Here is our checklist of the most important ergonomic aspects of a dream dental chair that seamlessly combines form and function.


COMFORT ZONE: You want a chair with supreme comfort for you and your patient. The freedom to move close to them from different angles, without discomfort, that is provided by an exceptional attention to ergonomics. One that lets you change the positioning of the patient to suit your needs, and to avoid the necessity to strain for either you or your hygienist, whether upright, reclining or in the Trendelenburg position.

There must be the assurance that the patient is comfortable at all times: a sturdy, supportive back rest is important, and can you choose between wide or narrower designs? Remember that padded chairs are particularly important to lessen any stiffness experienced during lengthy procedures.

In addressing the anxiety of some patients, is it possible to hide the instrument panel from their view? Can they use Side Delivery in settling into the chair to avoid seeing the instruments. For larger, pregnant or physically restricted patients, is there unimpaired access to the seat?


PERFORMANCE ENHANCED: The chair must be able to perform to all your needs whenever required. For instance, is there a foot control for optimal performance, whether to readjust the chair or in the strategic use of instruments for hygiene considerations?

We may live in a right-centric world, but is your chair ambidextrous and easily converted to a left-handed unit if necessary?

Can you personalise the colour from an available unit body colour scheme to fit the particular character of your dental surgery? Or, does the instrument panel allow for both patient chair controls and the main function keys?

We are part of a fast-changing industry, with new developments hitting the market seemingly every day. It is vital that the chair you choose for your practice permits you to change with the times through necessary but uncomplicated readjustments.


TECH SAVVY: Technological advancements are bringing dentistry to new and exciting frontiers. As we are well aware, our dental chairs must be part of an integrated tech team in addressing the expectations of patients and enhancing efficiency.

The chair will need ergonomically designed digital cameras with sharp, easily discernible images. They should be fully integrated with the dental unit electronics, with an LED monitor for transmission of “live” video images.

Use of a sophisticated cross-device system permits the simultaneous display of intraoral and X-ray images on multiple integrated screens. The chair would preferably have a Full Touch control panel, with both touch screen and keypad, to transfer images to the integrated monitor or external PC, and control instrument and hygiene device parameters.

Each dentist will have his or her own priorities and considerations in choosing their chair, so it’s important to consider the various options on the market. Among leading suppliers, Clark Dental offers an extensive range of products; they include Anthos with more than 60 years of experience, the flexible and time efficient Sirona treatment centres and A-dec high-quality ergonomic dental chairs.

Ultimately, we need a dental chair that works for – and with – us. Choose the one that will sit well with you and your patient.


For more information call Clark Dental on 01268 733 146, email or visit





[i] Dentists & reasons for early retirement:




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