The health issues that can be demonstrably linked with obesity are well documented: conditions such as type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, cancer, strokes, liver disease, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), joint pain and depression are more likely to affect people with a high Body Mass Index (BMI).
What is significantly less documented is the difficulties healthcare providers can have treating obese patients. This is particularly important for dental practitioners, since obesity is also linked to an increased risk of periodontal disease and poor oral hygiene.
One of the most prevalent issues currently is the capability of dental chairs to support patients over a certain weight. There have been reports of dentists turning away patients on account of the inability of their dental unit to safely and efficiently carry a heavier load.
Indeed, research undertaken on modern dental chairs has recently shown that most units are only capable of bearing loads of up to 23st (146kg). Typically, those who fall within the obese BMI bracket weigh from 22st upwards (143kg) rendering the majority of dental chairs unsuitable.
This, of course, presents significant problems to both patients and practitioners. If dentists cannot serve all of their patients, they will lose business to those who are better equipped – and if they choose to turn patients away on the grounds of weight, they may find themselves facing legal action through the Disability Discrimination Act (2005). For patients, it restricts the provision of oral healthcare.
To this end, it is worth considering a dental chair from A-dec. With units that can carry heavier loads than competitive products (up to 29st (181kg)), a long-standing focus on comfort, ergonomics and reliability, A-dec is the obvious choice for any dental professional passionate about providing the best care for everyone.
Regardless of size, age or any other differentiating factor, every patient who walks through your door deserves to be treated fairly, equally and excellently. Do not let your equipment be an excuse to discriminate against anyone – invest in high-quality products that will allow you give each individual patient the best treatment possible.
For more information about A-dec Dental UK Ltd, visit:
 NHS Choices: Obesity; link: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Obesity/Pages/Introduction.aspx [accessed on 18/08/15]
 BDJ: Obesity and dentistry: a growing problem – D. Reilly, C. Boyle, D. Craig; published online, 2009; link: http://www.nature.com/bdj/journal/v207/n4/full/sj.bdj.2009.717.html [accessed on 18/08/15]