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Ergonomics

I am about to start my thirty fifth year as a working dental hygienist. Last year I personally purchased loupes for myself. I am now ready to purchase an ergonomic chair. Having neck problems as most of us hygienist do (and it won’t be retiring me) I am in serious search for the best ergonomic chair I can or should I say can’t afford not to buy that there is on the market?



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6 Answers

What might work for one hygienist may not work for another when it comes to chairs. If it is possible to attend a dental convention, trying out many brands to see which works for you may be to your advantage. I did just that a few months ago at my local dental convention and found that RGP chairs fit me well. RGP straddle stools start at $660 and the 400-D chair starts at $990. However, if you buy at a convention they have great price breaks!

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I agree totally with Kara. I am currently trying out a saddle chair that my local rep brought to me. I get to use it for a couple weeks, it’s a great way to try one and see if it works for you before spending the money.

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When I started at my current office 10 years ago, I had been practicing for 27 years and my back/neck were done. All operatories were equipped with Sally Saddle chairs and the minute I sat on one, I fell in love. It just puts the pelvis and spine in a perfect position, and I’ve been comfortable ever since. No problem with loupes even though they were fitted to me while using a standard stool. Pretty sure I would not still be able to practice if I had not switched to my Sally Saddle.

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When I was negotiating my current employment (6years ago) I agreed to work at the office with the agreement my boss would buy me a chair of my choice. I did tons of research on different operator stools. I knew a temp RDH that used to bring her “Sally Saddle” chair with her to every office she temped at. I tried it briefly and really liked it. I didn’t end up getting the “Sally Saddle”, but I did end up with a different brand of saddle ( I forget who makes it). Our supply rep brought it to me as a loaner to try first.

I also have an attached telescoping arm for the left side. The one I have on my chair doesn’t glide as easy as one I had used previously and I almost need to manually fine tune it into position and so I use it less often than I’d like to, but it doesn’t get in my way when not in use.

One other feature that I found to be important for me is having a chair with a long seat post so I can adjust my chair to multiple heights even though I know there are recommended heights to use it at I like to switch it up to avoid too much static seating and with different sized patients, or the ones that need more upright positioning I have the ability to change my chair to accommodate.

My final feature that I really love on my chair is the foot ring that adjusts the height, I really recommend that upgrade for so many reasons. I didn’t even intend to have one but I really love it.

Sorry for such a long answer but I have been through the selection process and I think your chair is one of the most important tools for ergonomics and I’m quite obsessed with ergonomics. I will say I’m ashamed to admit I do not own loupes but they are in my near future I hope.

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I bought a Sally Stool and liked it for a while, but I got the model with a split seat thinking it would be more comfortable. $500.00 later, I was just too uncomfortable ( in the ‘sitting’ area!) to keep using it. I found a saddle stool online at an office supply site for $150.00 and I like it WAY better. Much more comfortable. I’ve had it for at least three years and it is holding up GREAT! The one below in the link is similar to mine. Make sure you get one with the metal ring at the bottom for your feet! HTH!

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You just purchased loupes that work with your current chair. The saddle seat will increase your working distance and you will increase your neck strain trying to move closer due to the shorter working distance. I have found that possible a smaller chair that has some form of an elbow rests would be helpful and may help keep the same working distance that was originally set with your loupes. Posturedontics is a great source for ergonomics and dentistry.

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