shoulder pain

From patients to patient care, front office duties, and simply running a business, there’s a lot for dentists to keep track of. It’s no wonder that simple ergonomics are not at the top of anyone’s mind while they are treating patients. But forgetting to position oneself correctly during treatment is the leading cause of back, neck, wrist, elbow and shoulder pain in dentists and hygienists, and these types of musculoskeletal issues can lead to shortened careers, lower productivity, and an overall decrease in the quality of life. 

Thankfully, there are simple steps dentists and hygienists can review in order to reduce their pain and limit the amount of musculoskeletal issues they have over the course of their career. All that simply needs to be done is review these best dental ergonomic best practices. 

Keep Reminding Yourself of Your Posture

It’s easy to become lost in your work while treating a patient, so it’s important to consistently remind yourself to correct your posture, especially during long procedures. Some of the things to look out for include: 

  • Forward head posture: keep your chin tucked while working 
  • Staying erect: do not slouch or allow your back and spine to round 
  • Flat feet: keep your feet flat on the ground and maintain a tripod of evenly distributed weight through your two feet and buttocks 
  • Distance: sit as close to the patient as possible 
  • Wrists: keep your wrists in a neutral position to avoid straining them 
  • Loosen grip: do not grip your instrument too tightly. Only maintain enough grip to hold onto it securely 
  • Stool height: keep your stool at the proper height so that your thighs are slightly angled downward 

Some Products That Can Help

It’s not always easy to remember to maintain proper treatment posture, but there are several affordable products that can be used to help dentists and hygienists work more comfortably and maintain a healthier posture. These include: 

  • Saddle stools: these special stools help place the pelvis in a neutral position and make it easier to maintain a healthy, ergonomic posture during treatment. 
  • Dental headrests: positioning the patient properly can have a great effect on how the dental operator positions themself. Dental headrests allow for better positioning of the patient’s head, giving operators greater access to hard to reach areas of the patient’s mouth without having to contort their body into an uncomfortable position. 


There are many more dental chair accessories that can help you maintain a more comfortable position while you treat patients. Learn more about them at the Crescent Products store.