-Dr. Bethany Valachi-
When it comes to dental stools, one size does NOT fit all! With all the varieties and optional features of dental stools on the market today, your unique body characteristics can be better fitted and supported than ever before! However, when selecting a dental stool, we must now take a look at not only the stool features, but YOUR body features and the ability of the stool to optimally support those features.
Your dental stool selection & adjustment should depend on 6 factors:
- Your unique lumbar curvature
- Body frame/size
- Disc health
- Operatory layout
One of the most important of these is your lumbar curvature. If you have an excessive lumbar curve (hyperlordosis) or a flattened lumbar curve (hypolordosis), you want to select a stool that will prevent worsening of the condition. Proper adjustment is equally important! For instance, you may have the correct stool, but improper adjustment could lead to back pain.
Excerpts from the CE Video Course,
TWO COMMON MISMATCHES THAT CAN CAUSE PAIN
Traditional stool with tilting seat & hypolordosis.
A tilting seat pan is the most popular style of
stool on the market today. With this style, your thighs slope slightly downward (15 degrees). While this position puts the lumbar spine in a better position than sitting with the thighs parallel to the floor, recent research suggests that it still does not place the lumbar spine in a completely neutral position.
Hence, a traditional dental stool with tilting seat pan is an especially poor match for someone with a hypolordotic spine! Unless they are in constant contact with the backrest, this could cause further flattening of the spine, pushing the disc posteriorly.
Saddle stool with hyperlordosis.
Saddle stools enable the thighs to slope downward steeply (45 degrees), and have been shown to improve lumbar curvature and reduce low back pain. However if you are hyperlordotic, (left) you should consider a different stool or make a corrective adjustment.
- An exercise to determine your lumbar curvature.
- What types of stools are best for different spine curvatures.
- How you should adjust specific stool types, based on your lumbar curvature, to prevent back pain.
- 5 scenarios where armrests are mandatory!
- Which backrests are best for herniated discs.
- Which 3 stool styles are best for men.
- Which stools are best for slender vs. full-bodied operators.
- What depth of seat pan fits you best.
- Operatory ergonomic modifications to prevent back pain.
You’ll have access to my DENTAL STOOL CUSTOM FITTING PORTAL, where you can select your stool based on your lumbar curvature, gender, height, body frame and disc health. You’ll even find specific adjustment guidelines for certain stools based on your lumbar curvature! Here is a sample of the format in the Dental Stool Custom Fitting Guide:
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