Hydraulic vs Electric Dental Chairs: What Every Dentist Needs to Know


“Dental chairs are crucial in a dental practice as they provide comfort and support for the patient and the dentist during dental procedures. They also play a significant role in the efficiency and productivity of a practice. When considering options for your dental chair, it’s important to understand the differences between Hydraulic vs Electric Dental Chairs.

A well-designed dental chair technology can help reduce stress on the dentist’s back and neck, promote good dental chair ergonomics, and prevent repetitive strain injuries. A high-quality dental chair can ultimately enhance the patient experience, improve the dentist’s work comfort and efficiency, and support the overall success of the dental practice.”

Definition: Understanding the Basics

Hydraulic Dental Chairs

Dental chair designs of this type are the most common dental chair technology on the market. Pumps and valves control the hydraulic dental chair’s movement and adjustment. A further advantage of hydraulic dental chairs is that they are much less noisy than their electric counterparts.

Electric Dental Chairs

In contrast, motors regulate the movement and orientation of an electric dental chair. Since the chair relies on several mechanical parts, adjusting it to the perfect position is effortless and produces precise results. On the downside, the whirring of the machinery during these changes can be audible. This is the case for both traditional electric dental chairs and modern electronic dental chairs.

How They Work and Their Key Components

Advantages of Hydraulic Dental Chairs

The primary advantage of hydraulic chairs is their simplified and user-friendly controls. To operate the dental chair equipment, levers and buttons are utilized. Starting, stopping, accelerating, and decelerating the movement and position of the dental chair is straightforward.

The hydraulic system’s ability to reliably support a maximum weight is another prime benefit. This ensures that the force it delivers is constant regardless of the velocity employed. Fluid motion and the ability to accommodate large loads are hallmarks of hydraulic systems.

By having a hydraulic system that can support a high weight limit, you can be sure that the dental chair will provide a stable and secure environment for your patients, regardless of their size or weight.

Disadvantages of Hydraulic Dental Chairs

Despite its many benefits, hydraulic systems do have a few drawbacks that should be mentioned. When working with hydraulics, one of the most significant drawbacks is dealing with corrosive hydraulic fluids. As a result, prolonged contact with toxic liquid could harm your health. Regular inspections and servicing of hydraulic dental chairs are essential.

The purpose of this is to identify problems at their earliest stages. Otherwise, fixing a broken hydraulic system can cost a lot of repairs. In light of this, precautions should be taken.

Advantages of Electric Dental Chairs

The highly precise controls on electric chairs make them more advanced. Their systems are resistant to temperature fluctuations and can adapt accordingly. This allows dentists to adjust and reposition teeth with great precision.

Additionally, pre-programmed settings on electric dental chairs eliminate the need for manual adjustments and improve time management.

Disadvantages of Electric Dental Chairs

However, there are also drawbacks to using electronic systems. In particular, overheating is a potential issue since the system uses electronic components. The system’s installation site may also play a role in this. So a clinic with good ventilation or air conditioning is recommended for patients to help alleviate this problem.

Comparison of Hydraulic vs Electric Dental Chairs

Comparison of Cost and Functionality

Hydraulic dental chairs are typically less expensive than electric chairs. However, electric chairs may offer more features and options, leading to a higher overall cost.

Hydraulic chairs rely on manual adjustments and are typically less adjustable than electric ones. Electric chairs offer more precise and effortless adjustments, with features such as programmable positioning and automatic return to a starting position.

Comparison of Durability, Longevity, and Maintenance Requirements

Overall, both hydraulic and electric dental chairs can be durable and long-lasting, and the choice between the two will depend on the specific needs and preferences of the dentist and the practice. Regardless of the type of chair you choose, it’s important to regularly clean your dental chair to ensure it stays in good condition.

Hydraulic chairs may require more maintenance, as they rely on fluid systems that can wear out over time. Generally speaking, hydraulic dental chairs typically have fewer moving parts than electric dental chairs, explaining why electronic dental chairs require less maintenance, but this can vary greatly upon the model of the chair.

Comparison of Patient Comfort and Safety

Both hydraulic and electric dental chairs can provide patients with a comfortable and safe experience. However, electric chairs may offer more adjustable options and advanced safety features, making them a better choice for some practices.

Which One is More Advanced?

Electric dental chairs are considered more advanced as they are easier to set up, while hydraulic setup is complicated because of pipes, pumps, and filters.

Which Option is Better for Your Dental Practice

The hydraulic and electromechanical dental chairs will serve their purpose in your clinic. Make sure to research the maker, their website, and any reviews or ratings from satisfied customers before making a purchase.

Note: It’s crucial to consider both the dentist’s preferences and the practice’s requirements when selecting the best chairs for dental operators. By carefully weighing the pros and cons of each type of chair, dental operators can make an informed decision and choose the right chairs for their practice.


There are benefits and drawbacks to using either type of dental chair. Considering these factors together will help you make the best decision for your medical practice. The upfront cost, regular upkeep fee, and necessary repairs should all be factored in.

Ultimately, whether you use a hydraulic dental chair or an electric one for your clinic, both will serve their purpose admirably. Verify the maker, their online store, and their customer reviews. These are simple, time-tested methods for determining a dental chair’s quality quickly.

Recommendations for dentists considering purchasing a new dental chair.

  • It must be comfortable for both the patient and the dentist
  • It must be ergonomically fit for dentist posture and efficiency
  • It must be durable and reliable
  • It must be integrated with existing equipment and technology.

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