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Dentist chair and positioning!

(33 Posts)
Kateykrunch Wed 06-Sep-23 10:19:29

I have a dental check up looming, but my dentist reclines the ‘chair’ into such a position that I feel as though my whole weight is on my neck, I had to change position a couple of times last time (before she started), she wasnt very receptive to my discomfort, the nurse gave me a cushion which only helped a bit and then I was left with a stiff and achey neck and shoulders for a few days after. (I struggle with my neck with the back wash at the hairdressers as well) and for context I have had some spinal and other surgeries, so I know its me not them, but I do wonder how very elderly people tolerate being upside down almost and I am not sure how to try to rectify my issue. Any ideas please, thanks

ExDancer Wed 06-Sep-23 10:38:12

I am 84 and have noticed this problem creeping up since my 60s. A nurse told me to ask for a neck pillow and to adjust it until I am able to relax completely.
I also have regular injections into my eye and the nurses there also say it's import to be comfortable as the stress of holding your head and neck in a relaxed alignment is necessary in order to be sure of placing the injection in the right part of the eyeball.
Practise at home with a rolled up sock or facecloth.
I now take a facecloth rolled up and fixed with 2 elastic bands with me to the dentists. Like yours, my dentist isn't bothered about my comfort.

Calendargirl Wed 06-Sep-23 11:02:43

Things have changed as the years go by. I’m sure we used to more or less sit up at the dentists.

Now your feet seem to be above your head. Can make you feel a bit sick actually.

shysal Wed 06-Sep-23 11:17:07

I suffer from vertigo when my head goes too far back. My dentist knows and tilts me less and stands rather than sitting to do the job.
All you can do is explain before you start and hope your dentist is sympathetic and cooperative. Good luck!

grannyqueenie Wed 06-Sep-23 15:50:06

I wish my dentist was as sympathetic as yours shysal. I have a similar vertigo issue, it’s even on my records at the dental surgery. However my current dentist absolutely refuses to adjust the chair to a better position for me, insisting that she can’t work properly unless it’s reclined really far back. Funny how previous dentists always seemed to manage it!

shysal Wed 06-Sep-23 17:45:03

The dentist would have to cope with me throwing up if I reclined too far!

Grammaretto Wed 06-Sep-23 18:09:11

I have recently changed my dentist and the new one's chair is far more comfortable.
My last dentist had a state-of-the-art reclining chair but when I opened my mouth he told me to put my chin down. How is that even possible!

Insist that you are uncomfortable. Surely these modern chairs should be flexible.

MrsKen33 Wed 06-Sep-23 18:12:12

My dentist always asks if I am happy to be reclined.

Kateykrunch Wed 06-Sep-23 22:06:19

Interesting responses, thank you. I might ring and speak to the Practice Manager and discuss my issues, I hate going to the Dentist in any case, and this just adds to the anx.

Cold Wed 06-Sep-23 22:11:08

I have problems with neck and back pain owing to cervical and lumbar lordosis - my dentist is happy for me to schlepp in with a bag full of memory foam cushions to support my neck, lower spine and knees

NotANana Fri 08-Sep-23 11:51:10

My dentist used to have a chair with the smallest and narrowest head rest ever. I could never get "comfortable" on it...mind you, I'm not sure that I could get really comfortable on any chair which is designed so that someone else can put instruments of potential torture into my mouth and with the risk of drowning in the water that someone else sprays in there was well...

ExDancer Fri 08-Sep-23 11:56:41

Yes, what are you supposed to do with all that water?
Swallow it in great gulps or let it dribble down your neck and soak your collar?

JdotJ Fri 08-Sep-23 11:56:45

I agree; you are so far tipped backwards that, if I'm wearing a dress, I panic that 'everything might be on show'

orly Fri 08-Sep-23 12:01:51

Last time I went to the dentist suffering with toothache I told him I'd rather have a baby and he replied "we'll make your mind up - I've got to adjust the chair"

montymops Fri 08-Sep-23 12:09:30

It’s a difficult one- our dentist has developed severe back problems from constantly bending over patients- does it make it easier for him/her if we are flat on our backs?

missdeke Fri 08-Sep-23 13:10:28

My dentist reclines my chair so my head is just a bit higher than my feet. He scoots about on a stool with castors. I have spinal and neck problems and it's not a problem. And he is the first dentist I have been happy to see for regular checkups since I was 21.

Gundy Fri 08-Sep-23 13:28:51

I’m in the latter half of my 70’s, have neck and spine problems due to previous fractures, so the most important thing for me when I go to the dentist is - the CHAIR.

The best positioning for me is low and almost flat. My dentist is completely concerned how comfortable I am, offering me a neck roll for support and even has a small fan to keep air circulating around me.

I also always wear pants so I can bend my knees upward (wear rubber soled shoes to keep your feet from sliding) to alleviate the pressure off my back. I’m totally relaxed. But I am one who is NeveR afraid to go to a dental appt because I want to preserve my teeth, I want the Dentist to be able to function at the best level and positioning in order to get the work done quickly so I can get out of there!

Old ladies are overly anxious and wishing for the old time upright torture chairs and think it’s the only way to get you teeth attended to. Those days are over - newer innovations in Dentistry will keep you comfortable and relatively pain free. If you scrap with your Dentist and are resistant they will become crabby just like you.
USA Gundy

Cabbie21 Fri 08-Sep-23 13:40:07

It is the hygienist who is worse than the dentist, both in the positioning and the treatment. Last time I insisted that I could not lie flat and I was given a small cushion which helped.

grandtanteJE65 Fri 08-Sep-23 14:08:04

Apart from finding a different dentist who has learned how to position her chair so it corresponds to her patient's needs I cannot suggest anything.

My dentist makes quite sure his patients are comfortable before beginning treatment.

If yours hasn't, I suggest you take your back X-rays with you next time, and tell her exactly where you need support, so you don't have a sore back and neck for days afterwards.

Nannashirlz Fri 08-Sep-23 14:51:20

My dentist is great always asks if I’m comfortable before he starts. Only thing I don’t like is he doesn’t put bib on you anymore or let you use the water to gargle if you need to for covid used to before so now I take a bottle of water with me should I need to gargle etc

Jodieb Fri 08-Sep-23 14:52:41

I suggest you wash your own hair before going to the hairdressers. I read once that a client died by twisting her neck on the basin.

Arto1s Fri 08-Sep-23 16:17:12

I thought it was just me. I find it most uncomfortable lying down flat. I constantly need to keep swallowing and this is so much more difficult when lying down. I always feel as if I am going to choke. Plus, the constant aches and pains from arthritis in my neck and lower back pain. The actual dental work seems not so bad after all that!

Nicolenet Fri 08-Sep-23 16:42:36

Had appointment with Hygienist. She was alone and tried to do her job whilst hanging this water collector tool in various position. It kept falling off, jamming on my tongue, water in my ears!... It was so uncomfortable. Now I have mouth ulcers on one side. Will complain.

Madmeg Fri 08-Sep-23 17:04:48

I have the same issue. I avoided the dentist for nearly 10 years simply because I was scared of being tipped back - not just the discomfort, but the sensation of sliding off backwards.

Eventually I had to go, so feeling stupid I emailed the surgery with my worries - and the reply was fantastic!! The dentist is so careful and reassuring, and his nurse also aware, and over the years (regular appointments now!) I've managed to go quite a bit further back.

I have always found backwashes painful. I once walked out of a local hairdressers cos the hair-wash girl applied conditioner without asking me, which meant I was twice as long on the bowl and despite my protestations she insisted she had to wash it out. I saved her the trouble and never went back. My regular hairdresser is perfect.

Just tell them, don't be shy cos you will not be the only one.

silversurf Fri 08-Sep-23 17:12:48

Change your dentist? You’ll be lucky, they are rarer than hen’s teeth.