Dental Chairs

Everything There Is to Know About Dental Chairs

Dental chairs are a unique type of furniture placed in dental clinics that allows doctors to perform their duties much easier, comfortably, and effectively. Usually, each cabinet in the clinic has at least one armchair of that type, situated at the center of the room, and surrounded by various other tools, instruments, and furniture pieces.

Many additional functions, like extra light, lifting mechanisms, and many others, come with those instruments. Also, there is a particular type of furniture used exclusively for pediatric clients. Almost half of the whole responded poll of pediatric dentists prefers to use them against the traditional dental chairs.

History of Dental Chairs

At first, the most common position for the entire dental procedure was lying or sitting on the floor with the head held by an assistant's hands while a doctor performed a procedure. The first known piece of furniture was constructed based on the simple, regular "Windsor writing furniture." Dr. Josiah Flagg, a dentistry specialist from America, modified it with a tiny equipment table from the right side and a padded headrest in 1790.

The first patent for the device of that kind was registered in 1867 in England by Dr. James Beall. Fully wooden, with a modified recline function, a headrest, and a footrest, it provided excellent access to a patient's mouth. That type of furniture was the most popular, until 1958, when Dr. John Naughton modified them by adding an adjustable back that allows putting the patient into a prone position.

There were a lot of different additional small and medium adjustments and various technical, engineering modifications after that. But, generally, the construction of that type of armchairs doesn't change too much. So, we can say that the primary author of the modern dental chairs is Dr. John Naughton.

Variety of a Dental Chair Parts

There are many different models of dental equipment available on the market. And it's not a big surprise that their technological, engineering and practical designs may vary a lot. But there are lots of different standard parts for almost every piece of furniture of that type. Among them, most often seen are:

  • Spittoons
  • Aspirator systems
  • Footswitch
  • Instrumental tables or trays
  • Lighting lamps for the intraoral view
  • Control panels
  • Armchairs

As every part plays a significantly important role in several different diagnostic and treatment procedures, it is necessary to provide more information about each part of those attachments.


Spittoons are parts of dental chairs that look like containers fixed near the armchair, next to patients, and allow them to salivate and rinse during diagnostic and treatment procedures. Usually made of porcelain or stainless steel, the staff can easily remove and clean them.

Suction systems

Suction systems look like special elastic, plastic tubes used to suction tooth crumbs, saliva, blood, and other small particles out of patients' mouths. On the opposite side of the tube, there is a specific tank with a small engine that creates negative pressure. Suction hoses can be a source of potential infection. So it's better to sterilize them properly after each new patient.


Footswitches are on the floor near the doctor's place, and they are used mostly for the activation of different instruments, for example, rotation of drilling machines or water pumps. Pedals should be placed as far as possible from a patient's location.

Instrument trays or tables

Instrument tables or trays are trays or tables placed right in front of a doctor and have enough space for every instrument he or she needs. Most often, their make-up is of plastic or stainless steel, but anyway, in both cases, they should be sterilized before each new patient. They also contain individual grooves for inbuilt tools, like a water pump or drilling machines.

Dental light lamps for the intraoral view

Oral light lamps are usually situated above or somewhere backward and aside to the patient's and the doctor's heads. The primary purpose of this part of dental equipment is straightforward: it provides enough light for doctors while they are performing diagnostic or treatment procedures. The secondary purpose - to produce beams of the required length for various treatment processes.

Armchair and control panels

An armchair is, basically, the central part of the construction. Patients sit down on it, and then a doctor lifts up or down the whole structure by using a control panel with different leverages and buttons. Sometimes, there might be an alternative to those control panel elements in the form of extra pedals.

Possible complications of using dental chairs

As the human mouth is not the cleanest place in the world with a perspective of microbiology, different complications, connected somehow with bacterial infections may occur after the patient sits for a while on these types of furniture. These usually happen after some patients with, for example, a pathogenetic strain of Oral Staphylococcus, had a session of treatment, and the patient leaves without the instruments and the main parts of the equipment appropriately sterilized.

There is also a big group of complications somehow connected with different malfunctions in the working processes of any part of that dental equipment. For example, if the suction systems break somehow, then the saliva aspiration may occur, which can potentially lead to cough, respiratory arrest, and maybe even death. These are some of the most dangerous groups of complications, and the main reason to check up all the mechanical and electrical parts before every patient.

There is also a significant probability of various mechanical traumas to the lips, gum, and healthy teeth while performing multiple treatment procedures involving instruments with high mechanical pressure. Possibly due to the carelessness of medical practitioners or low level of their professional skills. Also, the malfunction of the apparatuses may become a reason for the various traumas and injuries.

General Specifications of dental chairs

There are lots of different models of dental chairs available nowadays on the whole-world marketplace. We checked up the most valuable of them. We produced a list of the most common specifications for modern, mediocre pieces of furniture. They are:

  • Chair - self-adjusting, fully motorized
  • Capacity - up to 200 kg
  • Finish - durable, stainless steel, epoxy paint
  • Upholstery - seamless, ultra-thin
  • Headrest - flipped, double articulating
  • Footswitch - multifunctional
  • Hand-rest - rotative, fully adjustable
  • Programmable positioning - included
  • Number of extra units - up to 6

Among the extra modules can be anything that you can ever imagine from the modern digital dentistry world — for example, screen devices, intraoral cameras, various types of healing lamps, and more.

Market Leaders

The modern market for dental chairs is hugely variable. There are thousands of different models which are produced by hundreds of different manufacturers. It was hard to analyze the whole market and perform with the list of the best-existing manufacturers and distributors of that product. But we successfully did, and now can show you the result:

  • DCI Edge
  • Spirit
  • Core
  • A - Dec
  • DCT
  • V2
  • Forest
  • Midmark Elevance
  • VIC - F01

There are also lots of used types of equipment selling nowadays on the web. They are cheap, but there is a vast possibility of various problems potentially occurring due to a technical malfunction of any kind.


Dental chairs are a useful instrument and beneficial for basically any type of dental care practitioner. They do not perform any revolutionary technologies into the process of oral care treatment but make the whole process much easier and more enjoyable for both patients and doctors.