By Trevor Horne

An Accessory You Didn’t Know You Needed for Oral Surgery

Surgical dentistry, including oral implantology, is the fastest-growing area in modern dentistry. General dentists are spending thousands of dollars each year on upgrading their credentials and equipment to be able to comfortably offer surgical services. While setup costs can be high, the rewards of such procedures are unprecedented, especially with almost life-altering results in a lot of cases.

Most clinicians check off a set list of equipment they think will suffice for their needs and most get by comfortably, but to take these services to the next level, a perfect mix of ergonomics, utility, and ease are required which are usually missing in most dental offices.

Most offices equip themselves with curated surgical kits, implant drill kits, surgical motors, regenerative materials, etc. and that is all the necessities covered. However, in my experience, most suffer through bigger cases due to the lack of adequate ergonomic space for all the equipment they need during the surgery.

The Problem

For example, have you ever felt the instruments get cluttered within the first 5 minutes of the procedure due to extremely small tabletop square footage? Or have you felt that the drill kits, implant motors, centrifuges combined don’t leave any room for anything else and dentists end up working in cramped spaces?

This, unfortunately, results in unsightly and septic clutter of instruments and discarded sundries, and eventual damage to the fine and expensive instrument tips for lack of a clutter-free arrangement.

The solution for this is to add more counter space, which is hardly ever a viable option in a running office: in general, it takes too much time, effort, and cost to increase that space and most ops are already using up all of the available room to allow for any extensions to counter space.

What is the solution?

The most practical and ergonomic solution to this is an over-the-patient surgical table. These tables are large and have enough space to accommodate instrument and drill kits and all the sterile material a surgeon may need throughout the surgery. They can be positioned in the most comfortable position for the surgeon and their assistant for a highly ergonomic reach. With an adjustable height, they can also work for operators who like to work standing up.

The stainless steel or aluminum tray can be disinfected and lined with sterile drapes to prepare for surgery and the table stowed away neatly after the procedure is done. This has proved to be a workhorse in my practice and has become an essential part of all new surgical setups.

Another important positive aspect of the over-the-patient surgical table is that it reduces the possibility of dental instruments falling to the floor. This only enhances the safe sterility of using an over-the-patient surgical table, and truly makes it a no-brainer for any dental surgeon. With its ability to smoothly glide across the floor, surgical tables mean you can keep all instruments or other surgical necessities close at hand at all times.

Ergonomics Are Crucial

During surgery, it’s pertinent that the dentist works in an ergonomically-safe environment. Thankfully, the over-the-patient surgical table makes this even more possible than a normal surgical table. It’s undeniable that ergonomics leads to better patient treatment, and, therefore, more positive surgical outcomes. An ergonomically-sound environment allows clinicians to achieve improved accuracy in all dental surgeries.

Saddle stools are another example of essential, ergonomically-sound office equipment. Among other benefits, these stools relieve neck, shoulder, and back pain, improve circulation, reduce fatigue, and improve digestion by allowing the spine to be in its natural position. Saddle stool best practices include sitting at a 135-degree angle with the legs spread out. This creates a hip abduction position that stabilizes the pelvis in an upright alignment. This position allows clinicians to improve their strength, hand acuity, and balance.

When used in tandem with the over-the-patient surgical table, these stools provide an optimal ergonomic setup for any dentist, and certainly shouldn’t be overlooked during the initial clinic setup stage.

You Won’t Regret It

At the end of the day, the over-the-patient surgical table is an essential piece of equipment for any surgical dental practice. The utility and ergonomic benefits of these tables, as well as their connection to improved patient satisfaction, make them a highly attractive option when compared to other surgical tables. Do give these a try, and be assured that you will never revert back to surgeries without them going forward.