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Patient and Dentist Chair positions in Dentistry
The practice of dentistry is demanding and stressful.Dental procedures can be carried out both in sitting and standing positions.Physical problems may arise if appropriate working position is neglected.Three important things should be taken care of before starting a dental procedure are :-
a)Dental chair position
Dental chair position
Modern dental chairs are designed to provide total body support.Chair design and adjustment permit maximal operator access to the work area.
The adjustment control switches should be conveniently located.To improve infection control,chairs with foot switch for patient positioning are recommended.
The patient should have direct access to the chair.The chair should be low, the back rest upright and the arm rest adjusted to allow the patient to get into the chair.
After the patient is seated, the arm rest is returned to its normal position.The headrest cushion is positioned to support the head and elevate the chin slightly away from chest so that neck muscle strain is minimal and swallowing is facilitated.The chair is then adjusted to place the patient in a reclining position.
The patient in a comfortable position is more relaxed and more capable of co -operating with the dentist.
The common patient positions in dentistry are
1) Supine position
The choice of the patient position varies with the operator, type of procedure,area of mouth involved.
In supine position the patient's head knees and feet should be approximately at the same level.
In general,Head should not be lower than feet.But only in emergency conditions like Syncope,Patient's head should be positioned lower than the feet.
After completing the procedure,chair should be placed in upright position.So that patient can leave the chair easily and gracefully, preventing undue stress or loss of balance.
Proper operating positions and good posture reduce fatigue and physical strain and possibility of developing musculo- skeletal disorders.
Most dental procedures can be accomplished while seated.Unnecessary curvature of the spine or slumping of should be avoided.Back and chest are held in upright position with the shoulders squared which promotes proper breathing and circulation.
Proper balance and weight distribution on both feet is essential when operating in a standing position.
Operating positions may be described by the location of the operator or by the location of the operators arm in relation to patient position.
For a right handed operator there are essentially 3 positions.They are RIGHT FRONT, RIGHT AND RIGHT REAR positions.These are sometimes referred as 7-,9-,and 11-o'clock positions,respectively.
For a left handed operator LEFT FRONT ,LEFT AND LEFT REAR positions.these are referred as 5-,3-,and 1-o'clock positions, respectively.
There is another position called DIRECT REAR position in which operator is located directly behind the patient and looks down over the patient's head.
Proper seating of the patient ,operator, assistant and working position enhance providing the dental treatment without an unnecessary decline in efficiency and productivity because muscle tension and fatigue.