Chair systems for the practice of dentistry and other similar procedures are known. A chair system typically includes a chair that is adjustable in height and is shaped to support the patient’s body, generally from the head to the lower legs. The chair can usually be reclined to position the patient, and particularly the patient’s mouth, for convenience to the dentist and other attending personnel.
According to one style of dental chair systems, various supplies used in dental procedures is positioned within reach of the attending personnel by movable support arms that are connected to the dental chair and dental instruments, usually near its base. Such equipment traditionally included tools and fluid systems for providing water, compressed air and vacuum. In the past, such support arms have been connected at various points, including either side of the chair, the front of the chair or the rear of the chair. In another style of chair system, such equipment arms are attached to nearby walls and are not attached to the chair itself.
Conventionally, both “two-handed” and “four-handed” dentistry styles are practiced. Two-handed dentistry refers to practices involving a single practitioner (e.g., dentist, assistant or hygienist), whereas four-handed dentistry refers to practices in which two individuals work together. In the past, available dental chair systems have been optimized for either two-handed or four-handed dentistry, and could not easily be adapted to switch between the two modes conveniently, as may be required in a busy practice.
In addition, most prior dental chair systems or ultrasonic scaler were optimized for either a right-handed practitioner or a left-handed practitioner and could not be easily switched between the two configurations. Thus, in modem practices where multiple dentists might each oversee a number of patients, scheduling each patient according to the dedicated equipment required by the supervising dentist can be quite cumbersome.
Also, in typical modem dentistry practice, much more equipment is made available to the dentist and to the patient than in the past. Such equipment may include information displays (such as one or more computer monitors), controls, lights, cuspidors, amalgam collection units, as well as traditional dentistry tools such as drills and compressed air, water and vacuum tools. Thus, providing such equipment in a safe and flexible handling arrangement that allows for its use in various modes presents additional challenges.