Have a Seat!

One of the more popular Smile Sarasota Blogs was about the dental ‘Spit Bowl’. In case you don’t know what a spit bowl is, check out that blog! Along those lines, we thought it might be interesting to know about the evolution the dental chair. We have come a long way! This sophisticated equipment of today such as we have at Smile Sarasota has evolved from something very uncomfortable into an extremely comfortable tech-looking chair with lots of room for attachments. As to what was used way back when, if you envisioned a bare wood chair with no headrest, you would be absolutely correct! How uninviting.

By 1790, the first adjustable dental chair was invented. Before this, it was common practice for dental patients to sit or lay on the floor while an assistant held the patient’s head in place as the Dentist performed extractions or minor surgery…yikes! This newer chair featured an adjustable headrest and an attached arm extension for access to dental equipment and usually some type of footrest – like a barber’s chair – because it basically was a barber’s chair. The first people to practice dentistry or dental care were phlebotomy (blood-letting) barbers…yikes again! Next in the evolution of the dental chair came the first pump-style chair that raised and lowered the patient. In 1867, a British dentist constructed a chair that could not only raise the patient up to three feet and allow the patient to fully recline, but was also capable of tilting side to side. The first truly ergonomic dental chairs had been invented and paved the way for the advancements yet to come.

The design remained virtually unchanged until 1958 when what would be recognizable today as a modern dentist chair with an adjustable back that would allow the patient to be placed into a prone position was invented. Today’s dental chairs are designed with an emphasis on patient comfort, and to interface with devices which provide power, suction, water, etc. These days, vintage or antique dentist chairs can be seen in some museums around Europe and North America. While looking at these old chairs, one can probably imagine the patients who perhaps dreaded the dental procedure and then had a haircut! The dental chair continues to evolve as demand for convenience grows, technology advances and changes in dental practices make modifications in dental equipment necessary. Smile Sarasota has always been on the leading edge in every way, so expect to be pampered in our office…and comfortably seated!


Sources and Credits: Antiquebarberchairs.com, Chairinstitute.com