A-dec argues the case for better lighting

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A-dec’s Christopher Cox outlines the value of natural and effective lighting in the dental practice

After a long busy day in surgery performing exacting tasks, especially if you work in a windowless room, you can feel tired, drained and thoroughly miserable when you finally step outside and find that it’s already dark. Winter is upon us and we crave daylight.

One study – which looked at 49 day-shift office workers, 27 in windowless workplaces and 22 who had a workplace with a window – found the “windowless” group reported poorer outcomes on a long list of measures including: sleep quality, sleep efficiency, physical activity, daytime dysfunction and general wellbeing.

Stress levels in a dental surgery can be high: phobic patients, patients with high expectations, challenging and precise procedures, unrelenting schedules, keeping on top of industry guidelines, the list goes on. A certain level of stress can be a good thing, pushing you forward in order to achieve the highest standards of service.

However, stress needs to be manageable or it will not only impact on outcomes, but also on your mental health. The latest estimates for work-related stress, depression, or anxiety from the Labour Force Survey 2015/16 showed 488,000 cases, which equates to 11.7 million working days lost.

Spending your day under a fluorescent bulb will also have a negative impact on stress levels. The body’s circadian rhythm, also known as your sleep/wake cycle, is the internal clock that tells you when it’s time to feel tired or alert and it can be affected by external, environmental factors such as light, the type of light, and the lack of it.

Get less natural and high-quality light and you will feel tired quicker even though you might not actually need to sleep. When quality of rest and sleep is disrupted, this adds to levels of stress and anxiety and can affect performance at work.

Sleep is essential for mental and physical health. It squeezes out toxins, helps boost immunity and reduces the risk of certain serious medical conditions. When people are well rested they take better care of themselves too, and are more likely to take regular exercise. More exercise and a better diet means improved mood and so the cycle continues.

Taking breaks and stepping outside during daylight hours are important and should be encouraged. Dentists also need effective lighting solutions that mimic natural light as much as possible. Even if your surgery has a window, visibility into the oral cavity needs to be optimised.

More practices are switching over to LED lighting, for the comprehensive list of benefits it offers. Longevity, durability, low-voltage, as well as being eco-friendly; LEDs offer advantages over most other artificial light sources. For an ergonomic, accurate lighting solution, the A-dec 300 LED Light will flood the oral dental cavity with light and offer accurate illumination, with an intensity of up to 25,000 Lux.

If you source the highest-quality lighting for your surgery you will not only reduce eye-strain and fatigue, allowing for a safe and healthy work environment, but you will also facilitate consistently accurate diagnoses. The right lighting solutions mean great results as well as supporting wellbeing.

Author

Christopher Cox has been working at A-dec since 2005, when he started as an Administrative Assistant. From then, he worked his way up through the company, as a Project Co-ordinator, Project Manager, Territory Manager for Institutional Sales, Special Markets Manager and, now, the Sales Manager.

For more information about A-dec Dental UK Ltd, visit www.a-dec.co.uk or call 0800 2332 85