3 Cheers for the Chairs— A Lesson in Ergonomics

You don’t buy new patient chairs every day, and neither do the oral surgeons at the Center for Oral Surgery & Dental Implants. The practice’s current chairs were acquired in 1994, just before we all started using a novel thing called email. It’s time to start replacing them, so the practice is investing in ergonomic patient chairs from German manufacturer Brumaba.

Better patient comfort          

The new chairs accommodate bariatric patients, while the old ones had a 330-pound limit. They also cradle a patient’s head and neck more effectively, assuring greater comfort for the elderly and others with limited neck mobility. For administering anesthesia, this improved support helps patients maintain “what we call a ‘sniffing’ position, with the airway open,” as Emily Van Heukelom, DDS, explains.

The surgeons will benefit too. “Plenty of studies show the long-term detrimental issues of ergonomics for dentists and surgeons, including our high rate of career-ending disability,” says Dr. Van Heukelom. The new chairs help in two principal ways:

  • The contour of the shoulder support is tapered so that the surgeon can move in closer and needn’t reach as far—and therefore doesn’t have to maintain an awkward position.
  • The chairs can tilt from side to side like a banking airplane, so that the surgeon can keep his or her neck and torso upright for less cumulative strain.

View a video of the new chairs at https://bit.ly/COSDIchair, or stop by to check them out in our Grand Rapids office!