9 Best Dental Saddle Stools for Dentists to help with pain and injuries: What’s Worked Buyers Guide

Why a buyer’s guide is important? For many dentists with injuries, pain or discomfort, a well-fitting ergonomic dental stool could make a substantial difference to daily comfort and productivity. The challenge, however, is that one size does not fit all, and with so many suppliers competing for your attention it is difficult to know who to trust and what stool will work best for your needs.

How do we select ergonomic dental stools?

We have used a combination of the latest medical literature, unverified reviews, and our own experience to bring you some of the best options. We specifically target a small range of stools with longer warranties and a higher level of ergonomic adjustability

If you are busy and want us to send over some free personalised guidance, simply complete an equipment request support form.

What ergonomic dental stool works best for different condition/needs? 

Dental Stool Buyers Guide: Detailed

Why an ergonomic dental stool is an important investment?  Every job or profession comes with risks, and dentistry is no exception. Dentists, dental assistants, and dental hygienists are often at higher risk of developing musculoskeletal conditions due to poor posture. Many may not think this to be a significant issue; however, the longer you are in the dental field, the more exposed you are to improper seating. An increasing body of research suggests that poor posture is contributing to some dental professionals developing back, neck, or shoulder pain, and other injuries. For those effected and those who just want to optimize comfort and efficiency, ergonomic dental seating can be an important investment.  

Why can you trust us? As a not-for-profit, community interest company, our sole focus is fundamentally improving our community’s knowledge of what ergonomic, assistive and rehabilitation technology is working and who its working for.  

We generate revenue from either advertising brands, commission from suppliers for referrals or direct sales of products and all of our profits are reinvested into developing better ways of finding kit and funding projects that help inspire and motivate injured people to steal back more time doing work and hobbies that light them up. 

Every guide is developed by a small team, that includes our resident product specialists, physiotherapists, and ergonomists, combined with a special group of writers. Together, we have over 20 years working in the field of rehabilitation healthcare and medical products. 

For more personalised guidance you can also submit a free equipment request support form and we will utilise our resources to arm you with the best possible unbiased information before you buy. We don’t charge for this service and only ask that we can follow up with you at a later date to find out what worked for you so we can share the knowledge with the next visitor.  

Best Ergonomic Dental Stool for Flexion related back pain:  

For some dentists back pain is worse when they are leaning forwards or sitting for extended periods of time. In contrast, the pain will often improve when standing or extending their spine. In general, we have found dentists with this type of low back pain tend to prefer the Salli Multiadjuster.

The most popular features of this stool are the saddle shaped seat which drops the pelvis downwards and encourages a more upright position. In addition, the seat tilt gives users the ability to further drop their pelvis forwards and put more or less weight through the feet during the day.

In the early days, the Salli multi was more popular for women because the adjustable split was more comfortable for a narrower pelvis. Notably, in recent years we have found more and more male dentists opting for this width adjustability because it gives them more control where the seat pressure is distributed.

Some dentists report getting a build-up of pain when sitting in a fixed, static position for extended periods of the day. We have found that most dentists with this complaint find short periods of controlled pelvic movement improves comfort.

One of the most popular dental stools that allows gentle active movement is the Score Amazone Balance (for female dentists) and Score Jumper Balance (for male dentists). The Salli Swing Fit has also become a popular active sitting stool for male and female dentists. All these 3 stools have a saddle shaped seat and a mechanism underneath that destabilises the seat in a controllable way.

In the simplest terms this feel like a small wobble that responds to your movements.

It’s worth noting that for some people with inflammatory conditions, constant movement can irritate over a long period and so the stools have a tensioner adjustment that can reduce active movement when required. This functionality has also been reported to be particularly useful when dentists are new to active sitting.

  • Best dental stool with a chest support:

Dental professionals remain seated and slightly leaning forwards for a significant portion of their work. This anterior position and resultant low-grade forces on the spine may increase the risk for potential injuries and chronic discomfort. For some people this is annoying but others it can make for pretty miserable working conditions.

Orbital Support Systems are best known for developing one of the only precision engineered sternal/chest supports to help with the problems associated with forwards leaning. The most popular stool in the range for dentists is the Orbital 5S which has both the chest support and an option for upper limb supports to offload their upper limbs during the day.

The Orbital 5 star sits at the top end of the market in terms of cost, but for some people they are life changing in terms of comfort levels and the extra amount of time they can work for.

Best Dental stool with upper limb support for overuse related upper limb pain  

Most dental professionals will only need a stool, but there are some instances where the nature of dental work involves repetitive upper limb movements or prolonged static upper limb postures. For some people this can result in pain and discomfort in the neck/upper back and shoulder.

Most dentists who complained of upper limb pain found the Salli Ergorests the most helpful ergonomic dental stool. 

The Salli Ergorest offers a saddle seat with a lumbar support. Most importantly it also has articulating arm supports, which are designed to take most of the weight of the arm so you can gently move your arms in a horizontal plane. It is important to remember that whilst these supports can make a fundamental difference to dentists with upper limb pain, they don’t move in 3 dimensions and so won’t follow your every move.

Best dental stool with back support:  

Saddle stool manufacturers don’t always like talking about backrests because saddle seating is designed to eliminate the need for a back support. However, the truth is that a small percentage of dentists will either want or need a back support that they can either rest against or stretch over from time to time.

When it comes to back supports, for female dentists the most popular stool is the Score Amazone with lumbar support and for male dentists it is the Salli Multiadjuster with lumbar support.

For both chairs, most customers have reported they like the fact that the supports are height and angle adjustable and can fit into the curve of the lumbar spine. It is worth noting that you will often need a bigger base when using a lumbar support to ensure adequate stability.

  Best dental saddle stools for females under 5ft 6: 

One of the things that we have found over the years is that a number of female dentists can find wider saddle seats slightly uncomfortable. This is most likely because females have a narrower pelvis and so find standard sized stools a bit of a stretch on the thighs.

Many manufacturers have now responded to this and created narrower saddles. The two most popular for females are the Amazone and Salli Multiadjuster narrow.

The Amazone is a single piece saddle stool and has one of the narrowest saddle widths in the market which in turn enables a narrower leg position on the seat. The stool also has an adjustable forward and backwards tilt which enables a more upright position during work.

The Salli Multi-adjuster narrow incorporates the split saddle but importantly they have made the seat narrower and also angled the seat support more downwards. The result is a narrower leg position which once again has become popular with female dentists. As a general rule female dentist under 5ft 6 prefer the Salli Multiadjuster narrow whilst those over 5ft 6 are fine on the standard Multiadjuster.