The 4 Ergonomic 'Must-haves' In A Dental Chair

The 4 Ergonomic 'Must-haves' In A Dental Chair
Authored By Tom Toi

Providing patient comfort in your dental clinic should be your utmost priority. This is especially true for patients who are nervous about dental procedures. One way to deliver patient comfort is by ensuring that your dental chair - the central aspect of your dental clinic - is ergonomic.

An ergonomic dental chair allows patients to be comfortable without them feeling discomfort, pain, and even nervousness. Therefore, it is important that your dental chair has ergonomic features to deliver the best dental experience for your patients.

Therefore, in this article, we will explore what some ergonomic ‘must-haves’ in a dental chair are, namely the following:

  • Small, thin headrests
  • Narrow upper backrests
  • Chair height adjustment
  • Swivel feature

1). Small, Thin Headrests

Having small, thin headrests help enhance legroom and improve accessibility to the patient. Double-articulating and magnetic headrests in particular can help offer the best flexibility for patient positioning.

Double articulating headrests also allow for rotation and tilt of the patient’s head, providing better viewing of the upper arch and allowing the headrest to be angled to the patient’s occiput.

The double-articulating type of headrest also allows the lower arch to be angled forward and down so that the chin is lower than the nose level. This addresses a common ergonomic problem where the headrest is left flat during the procedure and is not angled properly for better viewing of the arch.

Additionally, magnetic headrests can permit side bending of the patient’s head to help increase proximity. Many ergonomic dental chairs offer either double-articulating headrests or magnetic headrests. 

It is also important to note that headrests should be adjustable. For example, tall patients may require a longer extension on the headrest, while older patients may require extra support for their head. These factors are important to consider in the pursuit of an ergonomic dental chair. 

4 Ergonomic 'Must-haves' Dental Chair

2). Narrow Upper Backrests

A common ergonomic problem of dental chairs is having a wide upper backrest, especially around the shoulder area. This is disadvantageous because it limits close positioning most especially in the 9 or 10 o’clock position. 

With a narrow upper backrest, movement especially around the head of the patient from the 9 to 11 o’clock position will be much easier. A dental assistant’s posture can also benefit from the close positioning of the patient.

Alongside this, you can also consider retrofitting wide-backed patient chairs with a backrest that is more narrow in order to create three to four inches in close proximity to the oral cavity. There are many manufacturers that offer this barrow backrest feature.

3). Chair Height Adjustment

Chair height adjustment is ergonomic and beneficial both for the patient and the operator. The dental chair should be able to adjust to a neutral seated posture most especially when the patient lies in a semisupine position. The patient chair should adjust higher or lower to achieve a neutral posture and allow for the dentist to comfortably perform extractions, exams, or impressions without bending forward excessively. 

In the case that the dental chair does not go low enough there is the option of using a saddle stool to place the dentist halfway between sitting and standing.

4 Ergonomic 'Must-haves' Dental Chair

4). Swivel feature

The swivel feature allows the chair to rotate in the operatory. This rotation can give more access to the patient’s head and serves as a critical feature if the space between the patient headrest and the counter is small.


Having an ergonomic dental chair makes for a practical option in your dental clinic. Not only does it have features that can help give more comfort and ease to your patients during the procedure, but give you more leverage and flexibility throughout the dental appointment.

Therefore, the four ergonomic ‘must-haves’ in your dental chair include small, thin headrests, narrow upper backrests, chair height adjustment and swivel feature.

MES Medical Equipment Services has been Australia’s leading provider of dental chairs and other medical equipment and equipment services since 1952. 

We were originally established to provide electro-medical products to healthcare professionals across the country. 

Our products range from sterilisation, dental systems, dental imaging, electrosurgical equipment, medical consumables,  dental lasers, and equipment service maintenance.

We sell only top of the line equipment and machines produced by the leading manufacturers in the world. Our integrity and standards are your guarantees!

If you are searching for the best dental chair supplier in Australia, then look no further than Medical Equipment Services Australia

For all your medical and dental supply requirements, please call us today on 1300 342 013 or contact us through our website.

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