It’s not uncommon for dental practitioners to be in an awkward positions that strain their bodies on a daily basis, in an effort to ensure that their patients get the best dental service Melbourne. Being the professionals that they are, one would think that they know how to look after a patient’s welfare, along with their own. However, that isn’t always the case for most dentists.
These strains put a lot of the dental professionals at a higher risk of getting musculoskeletal problems that include carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain, repetitive motion injuries, and more. The best solution and prevention to these problems lies in the science of adjusting the work to better accommodate the worker, so he/she wouldn’t have to strain, which is called ergonomics.
Positioning the Patient Properly
Securing the patient’s position throughout the entire treatment is vital because after all, all of a dentist’s work would centre on them. A patient’s ideal posture should be in a supine position. To help improve a patient’s repose in such an angle, a dental chair must have a contoured cervical support cushion—like the Airel PE8+ that takes chair ergonomics to a whole new level!
Dental ergonomic consultant and physical therapist, Bethany Valachi, suggests that dentists should place the patient chair at a 10-15 degree angle from the floor. She also recommends communicating with patients, asking them to scoot over to the headrest’s end, effectively eliminating the need for dentists to unnecessarily lean over.
The dental chair that the patient is on should also be adjusted in a way that the forearms are sloping 10 degrees upward, parallel to the floor. The chair’s lower arch, the occlusal plane should be inclined at about 30 degrees from the horizontal plane. Meanwhile, the occlusal plane should be inclined at a 15 to 20-degree angle from the vertical plane.
Proper Selection and Placement of Dental Instrument
Ergonomics is not just about finding the most optimal position to work in, but it’s also about properly selecting and placing the dental instruments to be used. Wrists can often hurt from applying constant force during treatments like root planning, probing, and scaling. To lessen that force, instruments with textured grip surfaces, larger diameters, and lighter weights all help improve wrist comfort significantly. Placing the instruments in easy-to-reach positions also aid dentists throughout the entire procedure, eliminating any form of unnecessary (or risky) reaches that could disrupt the treatment so any dental professional could deliver the best dental service Melbourne.
Proper Postures for Dentists
Dentists will find it very helpful to learn about the neutral positions that they could have during dental procedures. If any dental professional would want to improve on ergonomics, they should:
• Avoid leaning over the patient or bending forward and opt to maintain an straight posture
• Perform clinical procedures while sitting down, rather than standing up
• Less excessive (often unnecessary) wrist movements and maintain a neutral position for wrists
• Don’t grip the dental instruments too tightly
• Keep one’s feet flat on the floor or on the stool’s footrest
It’s important that dental professionals also utilise dental chairs to their fullest because they play an important role in how dentists communicate with patients, which increases efficiency in ergonomics.
It’s true that dentists should definitely be there for people and help them with dental problems. But dentists should also take good care of themselves, if they ever want to continue giving the best dental service Melbourne, or anywhere in the world for that matter.