The dental chair is the most recognizable piece of equipment in a dental office and often plays a role in patient perceptions of comfort. What they see as they enter the operatory influences how assured and calm they feel as treatment begins, so dentists take careful consideration when selecting their ideal chair. In addition to aesthetics, a good dental chair is designed with ergonomics in mind and should be easy to use for both the practitioner and patient.
Poorly designed chairs may prevent the dentist from working in an optimal position, such as if the patient has a wide backrest that prevents proper positioning, causing the doctor to hunch over the patient or have to move their body out of healthy motion ranges. This can lead to serious musculoskeletal problems in the doctor’s lower back and shoulders over time. In contrast, a narrow chair back design such as that of the Spirit 3300 from Pelton & Crane allows clinicians of any stature to work in an ergonomically correct position.
Other design features that dentists look for include a convenient, intuitive control panel and the ability to easily maneuver the chair’s various functions. The chair’s controls should have symbols that are self-explanatory and arranged in an order most commonly used at any given time, so the dentist can navigate through them quickly without interrupting their normal procedure. The chair should also be equipped with dual touch pads to simplify seat operation, eliminating the need for unnecessary movements, and enabling the dentist and assistant to work together more efficiently.