Prevent physical complaints with a good dental unit

Physical complaints as a result of your work are common among oral care professionals. The physical burden of dentists, assistants and dental hygienists appears to be very high worldwide. Studies worldwide report that over 64% of all dental professionals experience pain and problems after a few years of working. Despite differences in cultures and work patterns, the percentages of complaints are high everywhere. This is the case with both dentists and dental assistants as well as dental hygienists. The dental hygienists take the crown with the highest percentages.

Complaints that are reported include neck and shoulder complaints, headaches, back complaints and complaints about arms, wrists and hands, but also complaints about hips, knees and ankles.


Risk factors

The risk factors for the development of complaints are diverse. The focus is on static and unfavourable work postures, the making of repetitive movements and forces and an unfavourable positioning of both the patient and the dental care professional. Working alone is also a risk factor. Furthermore, various non-work-related factors play a role such as physical condition, age, gender, height, weight and overall health.


Adverse static attitudes are generally considered to be the most important risk factor. What often occurs is neck flexion, neck rotation or the combination thereof. The latter is a risk factor for getting neck hernia.


Prevent physical complaints with a good dental unit


Adverse postures can be prevented in the first place by a well-designed workplace. Adapting the workplace to the user instead of the other way around creates the possibility of being able to perform the work from neutral working positions. However, an ergonomic workplace does not automatically mean that all your problems are solved. It is also necessary to learn to work ergonomically.

Even in a workplace that is not ergonomically designed, if it is set as optimally as possible, it is still possible to work ergonomically.

The dental unit has a major influence on body posture and therefore physical strain. And there are various units on the market that have been designed in accordance with a large number of ergonomic guidelines, on which ergonomic working is possible.



When purchasing the unit, there are many things that need to be considered:

Body length

Insufficient legroom under the patient chair causes a stressful work posture

For a small dentist it is first of all important that the patient chair is as thin as possible, so that the legs fit under the chair and the dental care professional (and assistant) can sit close to work. This requirement is at the top of the package of requirements from a smaller dentist. A thick patient chair means insufficient legroom, which causes the legs to get stuck under the chair. This creates a too large horizontal distance to the working area. This causes a bent posture that cannot be solved by paying attention to a healthy working posture.

This is less likely to be a problem for a tall dentist. After all, there is much more space available between the hands and the thighs, so that the thickness of the chair and the headrest are less likely to be an obstacle to placing the legs under the chair. However, the height adjustment plays an important role with a long dentist. If the chair cannot be adjusted sufficiently in height, the tall dentist must always bend too much for good vision in the mouth.



In order to have a maximum view of the patient’s mouth, the headrest must be in the right angle. The flexibility of a headrest is therefore very important. For example, it must be possible to turn it around in order to be able to put it in the right angle. It is also useful if the headrest can be stretched because of the different body lengths of patients.


Flexibility of the hoses

It is important to work with as less strain on your wrists, fingers and arms as possible. Therefore look for a unit with long and flexible instrument hoses.


Incorporated Technology

We want to avoid repetitive movements as much as possible so a dental unit that allows you to program the chair movements on the touch panel and that preferably can memorize your working preferences (micromotor, turbine, scaler, etc.) is always the better option.




You don’t know which chair to buy? Go look online, ask other colleagues for advice, they have probably tried different brands than you and can guide you from experience.


This chair will be your main work tool for the next 10 years, so investing a bit of time in research is a must. Also, considering the importance of the chair you might not want to go for the cheapest model but go for one that really suits all your needs.


At Ancar we are very happy to help you with all your dental unit questions.

Contact your local Ancar dealer for more information or contact us directly:

National and International Ancar Dealers:


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