Positioning Yourself for Proper Ergonomics

When it comes to working in a dental office, you know taking care of your body for the length of your career is vital. Working in the wrong position or using an instrument that causes discomfort can lead to medical issues that can prematurely end your work.

Fortunately, according to an article from DentalProductsReport.com, two of the easiest ways to help ensure safe working habits simply involve the way you position yourself as you work on the patient.

  1. Work in the 12 o’clock position.
    If you can, don’t position yourself above the patient’s right shoulder in the 10 o’clock position. This causes unnecessary stress on your arms as you elevate them to avoid working directly over the patient’s face. Instead try lowering the patient in the chair and working at the 12 o’clock position with your arms on either side of their face. This way your arms will be in a more neutral position and you will have easy access to your patient.
  2. Sit with your hips above your knees.
    While you may have been taught to sit with your thighs parallel to the floor, new research shows that this may lead to spinal issues. Sitting like that flattens the curve in your lower spine, adding stress to your back that can lead to permanent medical issues. But sitting so that your knees slope down from your hips keeps your lower back in correct position, which avoids potential muscle strain, disc pressure, and back pain.

3 ergonomic mistakes that could end your dental career