Cliff's Notes

The Business of Dentistry

My Feet Hurt! But I’ve Been Sitting all Day? “Dental Office Ergonomics”

It’s 3:00 in the afternoon and your feet and back are starting to hurt, your neck is stiff, and you’re getting a headache. Maybe it’s the stress of running a dental practice or maybe time to look at your working environment as the cause. My advice to my clients is simple, you can try to save money in a lot of places but there are three where price should not matter, your handpiece, your stool, and your overhead light.

Your Handpiece … A craftsman does their best work with the best tools. Your handpiece is your #1 tool. You use it on almost every patient and there is a difference between a $200.00 and a $1200.00 handpiece. Yes, quality handpieces are expensive but so is your time. Quality preforms better and in the long run will cost less but the big advantage is a smooth cut and lower noise. It’s the noise that effects your health. The highspeed squeal is only inches from your ear. We are talking about hearing loss and it is a real problem in dentistry.

Your Stool … This may have been the most misunderstood piece of equipment of the last generation. Back problems, leg problems, foot and neck issues can all be attributed to your stool and positioning. You know who doesn’t have any of these problems? The dentist that works standing up. So, if standing is not an option then you need to look into quality seating and learn about “positioning”. Todays operatory seating is designed to compliment the new patient chairs. The patient’s head position can be adjusted to fit the dentist’s posture when seated correctly in a quality stool. You need to bring the patient to you, not adjust yourself for the patient.

Your Overhead Lighting … This is about your eyes. LED Lighting is the best and there is no excuse not to upgrade your current light to LED with a simple adapter. Your counter tops should be well lit with the same type of light (LED) so eye strain is minimized when looking away from the oral cavity. The focusing and adjusting your eyes have to do during the day will lead to eye muscle fatigue. Got a head ache?

The 80/20 Rule … I can tell you that eight out of ten dentists and hygienists complain to me about aches and pains but they don’t do anything about it. OMG! It’s going to cost some money to make you feel better. So, let’s talk about the cost and you can think about it while your driving home in your $40,000.00 car…..

1) Your Handpiece (air driven) $800.00-$1200.00(depending on brand)

2) Your stool (Drs.) $400.00-$1200.00 … (Asst.) $600.00-$1200.00

3) Overhead light conversion Halogen to LED $350.00 (most brands)

Ask your friends about their chairside health. This is about you and your team and your working environment. A healthy and happy team improves production. A work environment and flow evaluation can be arranged free of charge but to fix any problem you will need to invest in your health. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.



August 13, 2017 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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