Dental equipment has developed greatly over the last decade, but almost all dental chairs have the same reclined couch arrangement we have known all our lives.
While doing my research I went to see my equipment suppliers, RPA. The company is run by an old school friend of mine, Pete Higson, and his Northern Principal Adam showed me an absolute revelation.
The problem in dentistry has always been making patients feel comfortable and relaxed on the chair and , quite literally, not looking down on them as they try to maintain some dignity on a slippery and sloped couch.
The Stern-Weber 380 tackles this problem by beginning the patient journey in a conventional seated position. Face to face with the dentist, both facing a flat-screen where images of x-rays, images from the intra-oral camera etc can be shown and discussed in a non-threatening way with patient dignity at the fore.
Once proposed treatment has been agreed, the chair extends to support the legs, then slowly rotates and reclines until the usual position is achieved.
Everything necessary to provide top-level care is mounted on the chair, and both conventional x-rays and 5-slice OPG scans can be taken digitally, which reduces radiation exposure to an absolute minimum while producing a much more accurate and versatile image.
For referring dentists who may not have access to this technology, scans can be sent back via e-mail attachment or on DVD.
We have spent a great deal of time researching what patients would like to have happen during your time with us, and one area of concern has been having to listen to my awful taste in music, and that dentists’ ceilings can be quite boring.
We have installed very powerful WiFi with guest access, and our Bose sound system allows patients to play their own playlists, although Ray does insist on the power of veto, as acid metal thrash is apparently not conducive to highly accurate root canal work, so Radio 2 will be the compromise in any disputes.
This can also be fed to you via noise cancelling headphones if that helps.
There is also another flatscreen on the ceiling above the chair, which can show various relaxing images , streaming news, etc, depending on what people find relaxing.