By Danny Chan
The dental unit has been an indispensable tool of a dentist’s trade since the dawn of the teeth-fixing profession. Gone are the days when dental patients received treatment in modified versions of barber chairs. Today’s dental units come in an assortment of colours, constructions and configurations. Amazingly, an ever-growing dental armamentarium has done nothing to diminish the central role played by the dentist’s chair, whether as the surgery’s centrepiece equipment or in the daily functions of the practice. To say that the dental unit is a dentist’s ‘best friend’ is hardly an exaggeration.
Just like a friend, choosing a dental unit comes down to a personal choice. There is no one-size-fits-all chair, which explains why dentists still agonise over chair selection in a seemingly saturated dental unit market. Still, every now and then, you come across a dental chair that strives to serve a broader market – offering more ‘friendship benefits’ than what the price tag suggests.
Swident’s Friend Easy is the aptly named treatment unit that combines the key attributes of ergonomics, reliability and aesthetics in a very competitively priced package. In other words, it has all the makings of a BFF.
If a Europhile lurks inside of you, you’d be pleased to know that the Swident chair boasts Swiss Precision and Italian Design. Swident is a manufacturer and designer of innovative products that are durable and easy to maintain.
Dr Peter Wilkinson, Owner of Wilkinson Orthodontics, is someone that found all the attributes he wanted in a Swident chair. Last year, the Specialist Orthodontist celebrated 15 years of establishing his Gold Coast practice that offers traditional outside braces, Incognito lingual braces and Invisalign.
Operating out of two purpose-built practices – one located on Ashmore Rd in Benowa and the other on Discovery Drive in Helensvale – Wilkinson Orthodontics has grown from a team of four to its current strength of 22.
Opened in October 2019, the Helensvale Practice is a double-storey, 450-sqm Specialist Clinic with five clinical chairs located on the lower level and two consultation rooms upstairs as well as an onsite dental laboratory. Having an onsite and dedicated orthodontic lab technician allows the practice to offer custom-made appliances and the ability to make immediate onsite adjustments as needed throughout treatment.
The Gold Coast practice purchased their first Swident Friend Easy chair from Ampac Dental in 2018 before moving to the Helensvale location. They installed another two Swident Friend Continental delivery system chairs the following year after the new building had opened.
Dr Wilkinson’s reasons for making both purchases boil down to the unit’s user-friendliness and straightforward functions:
“Due to our clinic being open, we needed a compact chair that was aesthetically pleasing since they are always on show. Functionally the chairs are simple to use and, according to our dental maintenance technician, parts can be easily sourced.”
Whether you choose the Traditional or Continental delivery system, the Swident unit comes equipped with a well-balanced arm that provides smooth manoeuvrability. The operator has access to a control panel with four distinct user programs that manages all of the unit’s functions.
The dentist table on the Swident Friend Easy is equipped with Luzzani triplex syringe; one high-speed fibre optic line, one low speed line and space to accommodate a scaler. An optional second fibre optic line can be configured. The unit also comes with: Faro LED dental light (optional wall or ceiling mounted lights are available); pneumatic foot control that allows progressive regulation of the micro motor as well as spray and chip blower.
Regarding patient comfort, Dr Wilkinson compliments the ergonomic design: “The patient headrest easily adjusts and supports the neck. It is easy to adjust the lay down position and program this into the touch pad.”
To fit into his open-planned clinic, Dr Wilkinson wanted a chair that has a small footprint and "wasn’t bulky”.
"The Swident chair ticks this box as well as being aesthetically pleasing," he attests.
The smaller price tag of the Friend Easy was also a decisive factor, says the Orthodontist:
“Initially price played a large factor in the process. In Orthodontics we don’t require a lot of the features available on most dental units. Ampac dental were able to customise our order and provide us with a dental delivery system that suits our requirements at a competitive price.”
The Gold Coast Orthodontist says the purchase decision was helped by Ampac’s “exceptional customer service and support” from the outset.
“Their product knowledge and punctuality in communicating from enquiry to installation has been excellent. They tailored a package to suit our needs with no aggressive sales pitch – they really put us first as customers.”
Dr Wilkinson’s satisfaction with the Swident chairs and Ampac’s service is instinctively conveyed by his consideration to replace the practice’s existing chairs with new Swident units in the future – when the former units have reached the end of their lifespan. Sounds like another dentist has made a new best friend.