Dentistry and the Wheelchair-Bound Patient

 

Dentistry and the wheelchair bound patient

Dentists and oral care providers are reluctant to give treatment to wheelchair bound patients due to ergonomic problems. Patients in wheelchairs are usually scared of being transferred to a dental chair. There are the liability issues that come up where the caregivers or the patients themselves are unwilling to take on, especially for procedures that might be dangerous.

To overcome this problem the wheelchair tilt was introduced to treat wheelchair bound patients. The wheelchair tilt lets the patient stay seated. It reclines the wheelchair and the patient completely eliminating getting injured from a transfer. There are hand-held controls that allow the patient to adjust the angle of the tilt during treatment. The range of angles that the tilt has relieves pressure points that could result in ulcers and pain from being wheelchair bound.

Wheelchair-bound patients can become very uncomfortable while being seated for dental treatments. Having to constantly adjust tilt angles interrupts the dental treatment. Operating in these tight time constraints is challenging both for the patient and the provider. The resulting frustrations can result in disastrous treatment. While cement hardens and as saliva contaminates a dry area and as anesthesia subsides, stopping for patient realignment can cause havoc. With just a touch of a button, the wheelchair tilt safely and immediately adjusts the treatment angle to provide relief for the patient. The treatment can then proceed uninterrupted.

It is very difficult for a wheelchair bound to keep in a stable position if they are transferred from a wheelchair to a dental chair. The patient can often slide down the chair because they might not have muscle control and could result in a dangerous and stressful situation. A wheelchair tilt eliminates this problem and results in a good experience for both the dentist and the patient.

When patients are removed from their wheelchair they can often feel vulnerable. The wheelchair tilt allows patients to maintain their dignity throughout their treatment. Not only is it scary and dangerous when a patient has to be transferred, it could also be demeaning to the patient. With a wheelchair tilt, the patient will never have to suffer through these scary situations.

It is possible to confidently treat a wheelchair-bound patient in an ergonomically sound way. Dental providers have to take this often overlooked segment of the population into account in their practice. Wheelchair-bound patients are more likely to go to the dentist when they feel safe and are in a caring environment. Wheelchair tilts will give wheelchair-bound patients the confidence they need to get proper treatment.

 

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