• There is a significant problem with upper limb injuries within the dental profession • It is possible that repeated low grade unsupported upper limb movements are contributing to overuse injuries in dentists, dental hygienists and dental nurses • There is little research on the use of upper limb supports in dentistry • The most popular rear upper limb supports stools for dentists are the Salli Surgeon and Score Jumper Barrage • The most popular dynamic upper limb supports stool for dentists is the Ergorest • The most popular upper limb supports for dental hygienists are the Salli Allround and Score Jumper 360 and Score Amazone 360
Are upper limb supports needed in dentistry? In general workplace ergonomics there has been a lot of interest in the use of armrests at workstations. However, because of the dynamic upper limb requirements of dentistry there has been less focused research looking at the benefits of upper limb supports for different dental professionals. Despite the lack of research, both anecdotal reports and our own clinical experience suggest that as the scope of dental practice continues to evolve so too do the stresses being put through the upper limbs. Long hours, repeated forward flexed positions and low grade repetitive arm movements are likely to be putting repetitive low grade stress on a combination of shoulder, upper arm, forearm and wrist muscles, which in turn is likely to play a contributory factor to aches and pains and injuries to the upper limb.
Who should get what support? From our own experience of prescribing upper limb supports, we believe that in the right circumstances they can offload the upper limbs in a way that can improve comfort and reduce fatigue. It is also very clear that different supports are far more suitable for different dental specialities and so the aim of this section is to briefly outline the most popular supports for different dental professionals. If you are unsure which stool you might need please contact a member of the team on the phone by calling 02030510157. Alternatively, you can complete the contact form or email email@example.com.
Rear upper limb supports for dentists: Commonly, dentists need to perform procedures that require fixed upper limb postures with precision movements made at the wrists and hands. Our most popular support for this type of work is the Salli Surgeon. This upper limb support stool incorporates both a backrest and also rear arm crescent shaped support that can offload the upper limbs whilst leaving adequate space so that dentists can get very close to the dental chair, foot pedal and instruments. Another option that offers a degree of rear upper limb support is the Score Jumper Barrage. This stool incorporates both a backrest and more conventional looking armrests, which when positioned correctly help unload the rear part of the elbow.
Dynamic upper limb supports for dentists: Some dental work involves more dynamic upper limb movement, for which we recommend a dynamic support stool like the Salli Ergorest. The Ergorest by Salli has a moveable support arm for both arms allowing single arm independent horizontal plane supported movement. The result is that the arms feel offloaded not only during static postures but also when moving the arm forwards and backwards.
360 Degree supports for Dental Hygienists and Dental Nurses: A significant amount of dental hygienist work relies on slightly forward lean postures of the trunk whilst holding dental instruments in a small constrained area. Our most popular supports for the upper limb for this type of work are the Salli Allround and the Score Amazone 360. Whilst these supports look slightly different, they do have some very similar functionality. Firstly, because the supports are attached directly to the gas stem, they can literally rotate to any position around the stool. This means the support can easily be moved to the front, where it acts as both a trunk support and upper limb support. In addition, when it is not needed it can very easily be moved to another position in seconds. This then allows the dental hygienist to get extra support on one side of the body or even use the support at the rear as a backrest. The Salli Allround can be configured to all the Salli models and so for more information on these stools please click here. Equally, the Score 360 support can be fitted to all the models and so for more information on the score seating range please click here. For more general information on saddle seating for dental hygienists please click here.