Monitors need to be positioned so that the assistant can access it easily to input data, such as chairside charting, while maintaining contact with the dentist and patient. They also need to be close enough for the dentist to view radiographs or photos for diagnosis, or to read the chart. And finally they need to be in a position that the patient can view them to see their own photos, slide shows or patient education programs.
In addition there is the patient / practice issue. Sometimes you just don’t want the patient seeing what is displayed.
One solution to this problem is a movable monitor on a bracket or arm. The problem with this solution is that like all movable equipment it is never where you want it and moving it to the proper position takes time, breaks asepsis and tends not to get done. Also the brackets needed to support the equipment often cost more than the computer. For example the very elegant under chair radius arms sell for $1,100. You could buy three monitors or a whole new computer for the cost of the bracket.
The second solution is multiple monitors. One, the practice monitor, placed at the 12 to 2 o’clock position for the assistant and two, the patient monitor, placed at 5 or 9 o’clock for the patient and dentist. The practice monitor can be small 17″. The patient monitor will be used for patient display and should be large and impressive, 19″ or bigger.