The dental chair is one of the most critical and essential equipment for any dentist. Although an essential piece, most patients see this as the focal point of your office, one of the reasons you need to invest in a comfortable one. Choosing the right chair can however be a daunting task for many dentists. Having an idea of what to look for, or expect, in a dental chair however gives you an upper hand in identifying the right chair. Some of the factors to consider when shopping for a dental chair include functionality, reliability, and maximum comfort among others. These are discussed in detail below.
The best dentist chair should not only be comfortable with your patients but also for you and other staff. The chair needs to provide enough cushioning and support for the patient regardless of their size. Some of the best quality chairs are capable of synching with a patient's body irrespective of the positioning. Adjustable headrests and adjustable backrest are recommended too. This feature comes in handy if your dental practice involves both adults and children alike. Some of these chairs may come with built-in heating units and massagers. Adjustable armrests for easy egress and entry would be an added advantage as well.
As mentioned earlier, the chair needs to be comfortable for you and other staff as well. It should make it possible for you to get close enough to the patient to perform required procedures without putting a strain on your posture and health. Although wide-back chairs may be comfortable for patients, these make it hard for you to get close enough to the patient. It would therefore be advisable to look for a chair that is comfortable not only for the patient but you as well. Mechanical chair reposition is another feature you ought to look for when shopping for a dental chair.
Modern dental chairs offer increased functionality and features as compared to older ones. The added functionality inspire confidence in patients, as well as make your work much eater. Some of the additional technological features that come with modern dental chairs include:
a. Control panel – this enables the dentist to adjust chair position, lifting speeds, lowering speeds, and access to operatory accessories.
b. Programmable memory settings for various seat positions.
c. Foot control – similar to a joystick
While added functionalities are a welcome idea, it is important that the chair is reliable enough. A good chair should perform without any flaws for at least ten years. Be sure to check reviews on the particular model you are interested in before making an order.
The dental chair is among the first few things the patient will see during an appointment. It is therefore important to ensure the chair is as aesthetically appealing as possible. Almost all dental chairs on the market are fully customizable, meaning you can have them designed to complement your office's décor and style. This includes the fabrics, colours, finish, form, shape, and size.
4. Other Factors to Consider
a. Operatory Configurations: Some of the best dental chairs include dental delivery systems and chair-mounted lights that help create a complete package for the dentist. Such configurations are not only easy to install, but also provide consolidated utility and electrical connections. This therefore means you never have to worry about adding mounting support or wiring. Other configurations allow for cabinet-installed or mobile cart delivery systems.
You can also invest in a chair then buy its accessories separately. This makes it possible to install light fixtures and other delivery systems as you wish.
Many dentists today prefer freestanding dental chairs paired with ceiling-mounted lights, as well as delivery systems stored just behind the patient's head in a cabinet. Such a setup makes it easy for the dentist to access the required tools as well as reducing the patient's anxiety. This leaves you with lots of space surrounding the chair for ease of movement, and for giving the patient some comfort.
Guesswork isn’t recommended when shopping for dental equipment, and particularly the chair. You need to be sure of the equipment and accessories you are investing in.
b. Choose between New and Refurbished: Investing in a pre-owned dental chair can save you up to 60% of your money. Experts however advise against going for used-chairs that haven’t been tested. Refurbished chairs are considerably much better for they have undergone a series of testing to ensure all components and tubing are replaced, painted, and reupholstered to ensure they function correctly. Refurbished chairs also come with state-of-the-art delivery systems commonly found in new chairs.
c. Retailer: Retailers specializing in dental office supplies and equipment have your best interests in mind. Dealing with such should help you find a chair fitting both your needs and budget.
d. Servicing: Proper servicing is required to ensure the chair is in the best condition possible. Look out for retailers who deal with dental technicians to make this a possibility.
e. Tax Implications: The chair is one of the capital expenditures you will have for the office, hence deductible. You can therefore take deductions for as much as $1,000,000 in the purchase year under the current law.
Dental Chair FAQs
Question: What is the difference between electromechanical and hydraulic dental chairs?
Answer: A hydraulic chair contains a series of valves and a pump that help move the chair, as well as position it. These chairs have a smoother and quieter mode of operation as compared to electromechanical chairs that use motors instead of hydraulics. Hydraulic chairs are easy to operate, and especially when lowering or raising, with or without a patient on it.
Question: Does a dental chair accommodate both right and left-handed dentists?
Answer: Dental chairs fitted with the delivery unit can be positioned to accommodate both right and left-handed dentists. The cabinet-mounted delivery unit can be configured on either side of the chair suiting the dental professional’s needs. Such convenience however comes at a price premium.