Since it’s so easy for dentists and hygienists to become wrapped up in excessive patient loads, treatment and running their own dental office, it’s no wonder that patient positioning isn’t at the top of their minds. While treating your patients with care is vital, did you know that proper patient positioning can help reduce and eliminate pain in a dental operator’s neck, back, shoulders, elbows and wrists? It also helps create a more comfortable treatment environment for patients, making your dental office a more desirable place to visit.
Follow these tips to properly position your patients.
Start with a Comfortable Surface
While modern dental chairs are not the least comfortable surfaces in the healthcare industry, there are ways to make most chairs more comfortable: dental chair pads. These pads are made from comfortable memory foam that conform to the patient’s body and provide pressure point relief as it fills voids in spaces between patient and dental chair. This allows patients to relax and remain still during treatment, making proper positioning easy and giving operators a steady patient to work on.
It’s All in the Knees and Hips
Without proper support underneath a patient’s knees, something that many dental chairs lack, a lot of pressure can be placed on the patient’s back and hips. When the patient has to hold this position for a while, it can even become painful. Using a knee support pillow to gently lift the patient’s knees will relieve the pressure on their hips and lower back and make longer procedures much more tolerable.
Provide Back Support
Most dental chairs also leave a gap between the patient’s lower back and the cushioning of the chair. This means that the patient has to (at least partially) support themselves during treatment, and sitting for extended periods of time without lower back support can create pain in the lower back and legs. Using a backrest pillow to fill the gap between the chair and patient will help provide support for the inward curve in the lumbar spine and make any dental chair much more comfortable to sit on for long periods of time.
The Head and Neck Are the Most Important Parts
Neck pain and discomfort on the back of a patient’s head are some of the most common complaints during treatment. This is because even the best dental chairs do not have headrests that properly position a patient during treatment. Using a dental headrest to gently recline the patient’s head not only provides support and makes for a more comfortable experience, it also allows operators greater access to treatment areas, particularly teeth at the back of the maxilla and mandible. When greater and easier access is available to these areas, dentists can work more comfortably and, more importantly, position themselves properly so as to avoid musculoskeletal issues and pain.
Everything you need to position your patients properly and comfortably is available at the Crescent Products store. Shop for dental chair pillows and accessories today.