What to look for when buying dental equipment


This article is sponsored content brought to you by A-dec.

The world’s most awarded dental chair manufacturer, A-dec, has released a useful practical guide to help dentists select the chair which is best suited to their needs.

dental chairs

This handy booklet covers all the equipment needed to set up a surgery and is available free from all A-dec dealers.


The key considerations in patient chairs are their quality, reliability and ergonomic functionality; which cater to both the patient and operator. A-dec excels in this area with A-dec chairs awarded best patient chairs for the past 15 years in America’s annual survey of dentists published in DentalTown magazine.

Below are some questions that practice staff should consider when purchasing a new patient chair. They should also consult an experienced A-dec Territory Manager or authorised A-dec dealer to work out the type of chair and delivery system best suited to their needs.

Q. How stable is the chair? 

One overlooked area is stability and this comes down to the basic construction of the chair—both its footprint, but more importantly the materials used in manufacture such as a heavy cast iron base that has a narrower profile than aluminium and has a high patient load rating.

Poorly designed chairs move if bumped or during normal use which has adverse consequences for performing many dental treatments.

Q. Does the backrest flex for easy access? 

Another key consideration is access to the patient. An ultra-thin, sturdy backrest offers more legroom, allowing you to position the oral cavity lower (and closer) to your lap.

This position lets you work with your forearms parallel to the floor, minimising arm and shoulder strain. A thin, properly designed backrest also absorbs pressure and supports the patient while entering and exiting the chair.

Q. How do the chairs move? 

The lower you can position the chair the better, in order to allow all members of the dental team to work comfortably and ergonomically. Keep in mind that many chairs can go low, but because many have thick upholstery, the dentist must raise the chair in order to get under it which results in a poor work position.

Q. Can you easily position the headrest? 

The headrest is important for patient positioning. You should be able to easily reposition it by activating an adjustment mechanism with your thumb and forefinger. A headrest that automatically follows the motion of the patient when the chair back is raised or lowered means more comfort for the patient, and fewer adjustments for the operator. Knob-style headrests, on the other hand, are more difficult to adjust, especially when covered with a plastic barrier protection.

Q. Does the chair cradle the patient? 

Is the backrest ergonomically pressure mapped to achieve the optimum shape, and is there a simple hinge mechanism that reclines the back, or a ‘virtual pivot’ that allows the patient to achieve the supine position without stretching or repositioning? As you recline the patient, the toe-board should lift to elevate the patient’s legs in a cradling motion that automatically rotates the patient to a comfortable position.

Q. Are the upholstery materials and colours compatible with your decor?

Today practices compete more than ever based on looks and patient referrals, with ‘designer’ surgeries preferred over more traditional, dated practices.

Ensure the manufacturer offers a wide array of upholstery colours and selections to match the look of your practice. Ask how long the replacement upholstery will be available. ≤

For more information on A-dec chairs or a copy of the booklet, contact A-dec on 1800 225 010 or visit www.a-dec.com

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