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The Concepts of Four-handed Dentistry Including Ergonomic Instrument Transfer and Exercises for Stress Reduction

Course Number: 643

Chair Positioning Using a Microscope

With the increased use of a microscope in dentistry during the past decade or more, not only do microscopes improve magnification of the operative field but they provide improved ergonomics, reduced eye fatigue/strain, and improved lighting at chairside. It is wise in many situations to include a microscope for the assistant.


Microscopes deliver on the promise of comfortable sit-down dentistry. Using the microscope, the dentist no longer needs to twist and bend the body to obtain good visibility. The microscope provides its own light source and is directly positioned over the oral cavity like a dental light. Essentially the dentist sits motionless and is able to sit at the 12 o’clock position even while working with mandibular molars by learning to bring the patient closer to them instead of attempting to move their body to the patientt.4 The assistant using a microscope along the side of the dentist can also maintain good chair positioning while being able to anticipate the next needed instrument. The dentist can adjust the patient’s head with minimal movement to improve patient positioning to improve the dentist’s operating posture.

Personal loupes also provide enhanced vision for the team. As they are fitted to the wearer while in the optimum ergonomic position, the loupes keep the wearer safe while reducing eye strain.