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As a dentist or dental hygienist, it is only normal for you to move around your patient's head a few times during a single treatment session in order to achieve the best line of sight. You may also ask your patients to tilt their chin, rotate their head, or adjust their sitting inclination. All of these activities are essential for proper and precise treatment. However, not all dentists and hygienists truly understand the essence of doing these things. Some are not aware of these things, some have very limited space, some are just too lazy doing them, and some just don't care about them. They failed to realize how dangerous it can be if they continue to neglect proper operator and patient positioning and how serious the impacts that these things can give to them and to their career.
In this second portion of the two-part blog series, we will continue to discuss some other strategies that you can use to achieve optimal patient and operator positioning and some tips on how you can resolve work-related illnesses in dentistry to ensure a pain-free dental practice.
Adjusting patient height
The patient's height during the dental procedure also helps you achieve a better and more neutral working posture. The best height is to place the occlusal region on the same level as the operator's elbow or the forearms of the operator which is positioned parallel to the floor. You can also position your patient slightly higher than your elbow or let it sloping upward at around 10 degrees but not too much as it can lead to either an arm abduction or shoulder elevation which can both cause shoulder and neck pain.
Adjusting the headrest
Once you have already properly reclined your patient, you will have to think about adjusting the headrest next. Again, there are various strategies to position the headrest and these techniques greatly vary according to the type of headrest your patient chair has like whether it has a double-articulating or flat headrest.
If you have a flat headrest, let your patient scoot to its end. This can save you from countless of musculoskeletal pains, illnesses, and dysfunctions. You may use a dental ergonomic cushion that can support the knees, neck, and lower back of your patients and can make them feel comfortable.
Using high-quality illumination system
Apart from using ergonomic dental loupes, it is also crucial to have enough illumination if you are working on dark and secluded areas. But you need not just any type of illumination system, you need a source like the dental headlight that will provide the operating region with superior quality, stable, and right quantity of light.
Do not hesitate to ask your patient to move to a position where you can achieve your best working position and line of sight. Keep in mind that your patient will only be staying in such position for a few minutes while you are preserving your best working posture in order for you to conquer all the operatory challenges, to minimize muscle and eye strain which can possibly lead to chronic pain, injury, and even early retirement, as well as to serve more people who are in need of your service in many years to come.