When considering a dental chair, stability is key. The patient chair must provide an unwavering platform for the precise work you perform in the oral cavity. It must also create an efficient working environment that maximizes your access to the patient—and offers both you and the patient comfort.
Here are some top questions to consider when buying a dental chair:
Q. How stable is the dental chair?
A. Stability requirements will vary, depending on what type of equipment you use. Chair-mounted delivery systems require a much more stable chair than a cabinet or wall-mounted systems. Still, a dental chair must deliver stability as you access the oral cavity.
Here’s a practical test of stability in a dental chair with a chair-mounted delivery system and dental light, which is sitting on an even and level floor: with a person in the supine position, run the dental chair to its maximum height. Grasp the top of the light post and attempt to rock the chair side-to-side. The patient seating area should not rock or sway, but should remain basically rigid. The baseplate shouldn’t rock at all. “Tippy” chairs may not be capable of delivering a stable oral cavity.
The chair baseplate is an important factor in stability. It should have a large footprint, yet be configured so it won’t interfere with stool casters. Cast iron is rigid and provides more strength than aluminum, with a thinner profile. It also transfers less sound and vibration to the patient if it is hit or bumped.
Q. Does the dental chair baseplate resist dents, scratches, and corrosion?
A. The baseplate is constantly under assault from cleaning chemicals and equipment. The finish should not be simply painted, as it will chip or scratch easily. To keep it looking clean and new, a permanent finish process such as epoxy or electrolytic bonding is ideal. The baseplate should be finished on all sides, so floor coverings won’t be damaged by rust or corrosion.
Q. How do the dental chairs move?
A. The chair’s initial and final movements play a big role in patient comfort and experience. Sit in the chair. Move it up and down to determine whether there is an initial jarring movement at the start or stop. The chair should eliminate jarring movements and provide a smooth ride for the patient from start to finish. Be sure to ask who manufactures the hydraulic cylinders: an important part of the chair.
If you’d like to learn more about what questions to consider, request your complimentary “What to Look for When Buying Dental Equipment” guide.