Both the dental patient and the dentist have a problem!
It’s tough to have the patient’s head positioned comfortably, AND ideally for the dentist.
This challenge makes the dentist’s job difficult because without the best view of the mouth, and without the best light on the mouth, the dentist is working in the dark.
And, it is difficult for the patient to be tolerant and still and be engaged in something interesting during the otherwise boring dental treatment. If the patient is not comfortable, to be tolerant and still is an impossible task for him/her.
It helps if the patient can read a book, pad, or use a game or cell phone during the otherwise boring time in treatment.
Hammacher Schlemmer & Co. started as a New York City hardware store in 1848, and in 1881 began distributing its own catalog (The 1912 catalog was 1,112 pages.) The store was the first to offer the newest and greatest - a pop-up toaster (1930), a portable radio (1930), an electric toothbrush (1955), and a telephone answering machine (1968). Although these amazing products were very practical, Hammacher Schlemmer also sold whimsical and luxury items. Regular customers have included the British royal family, the King and Queen of Spain and Lord Rothschild, many U.S. Presidents and First Ladies decorating the White House, and Princess Grace of Monaco. NYC mayor Rudolph Giuliani renamed one block of 57th Street in NYC as Hammacher Schlemmer Way. The catalog today still has fascinating, unusual and fun items.
About 15 years ago, I was browsing through the current Hammacher Schlemmer catalog and saw this ad:
I thought, “Wow! I know what those are for! - those are for dental patients in the dental chair!” And sure enough - FINALLY - a solution that works fantastically. At the time I called them ‘gameboy glasses’, because then, gameboys were what every child wanted to play with while in the dental chair!
These glasses are fantastic - today! For the patient, they can comfortably hold their book, pad, phone, with their arms resting on their torso, and see it well. The operator’s hands and instruments working on the patient’s mouth are not in the patient’s way at all.
For the operator, the dental light beam is able to shine on the oral treatment area perfectly without the patient blocking the light or the view at all. AND, perhaps the biggest bonus is that in order for the patient to have their head at the angle where the glasses work best, they tend to tip the chin up a bit.
In other words, the patient naturally tips his head up, which makes the view perfect! EXACTLY where we dentists want the patient’s head to be.
You can order them from Amazon (see photos on left ). I recommend having a pair at each chair. Once they have used the glasses, the patients will ask for them each visit. And you will be happy with the result.
For my child patients, whether they are reading a book, a pad, a phone, or watching a movie on our computer monitor, they are engaged, comfortable and off on “planet-la-la land.”
Talk about a win-win solution for you... and for your patients!
Dr Chris Baker
Dr. Chris Baker is Past President of the American Orthodontic Society, a pediatric dentist and teacher of orthodontics, An author, dental practice consultant, mentor, and a current or former faculty member of three U.S. dental schools, Dr Chris practices and blogs in beautiful Abu Dhabi, UAE, and glorious Texas, USA.
Text and images
© 2019 Dr Chris Baker