A short history of the dental chair

A short history of the dental chair

Written by: Romanian Dental Team

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If you are terrified of going to the dentist, you can rejoice the next time you see that big, ultra-equipped chair. In 1790, patients  had to sit on wooden chairs and endure any dental treatment without the help of anesthetics. The history of the dental chair proves that dentistry is constantly improving both for the benefit of the patient and to ease the work of the dentist

The dental chair: an evolution

 
A normal, wooden chair with no head rest was all patients got to sit on during their visit to the dentist up until 1790. It was not unusual for the dentist to ask the patient to lay on the floor while he was performing a dental extraction and needed to have better access to the patient’s teeth. But in 1790 an American dentist named Josiah Flagg created the first ever head rest for dental chairs that would keep the head in a fixed position during the dental procedure. His design was used for a long time, until the reclining chair was born, some forty years later.
 
The next revolution came from London when James Snell designed the first fully adjustable dental chair. However, his design was still limited and allowed only for minimal adjustments and no adjustments were possible for the head support.
 
Finally, in 1867 another British doctor, James Beall patented the first dental chair. This model had many new and useful features like footrest, an accessible foot pedal and vertical adjustment. James Beall also invented a number or dental accessories and instruments. This chair was extremely useful for procedures like extractions and fillings and the treatment of cavities.
 

Dental chairs today: comfortable and sanitary

 
Today, dental chairs are ever changing and continue to offer new benefits for patients and dentists. They are ergonomic and built out of aluminium combined with plastic features and padding for greater comfort. They are highly adjustable and are equipped with adjacent dental equipment. The dentist has full control and can safely perform complex dental procedures like small scale dental surgery procedures.
 
Modern dental chairs are usually impregnated with powerful anti-microbial substances and can be easily cleaned, allowing the patient to always sit in a sanitized chair. Besides being high-tech and ergonomic, the most important characteristic of dental chairs is that they can create a feeling of comfort even to the most nervous patients.
 
So the next time you visit the dentist’s office you can just sit back and relax. Dentistry has come a long way.
 
 

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