Spring 2019

New Life for Retired Chairs

The Dental School donates equipment for externship sites.

By Helene Ragovin

Illustration: Shutterstock

A typical dental chair supports a lot of patients over a twenty-year life span at Tufts, but some seats continue to work hard well into retirement. The School of Dental Medicine recently donated six used chairs to Caring Hands of Maine Dental Center in Ellsworth, Maine, where director Timothy Oh used three of them to create a new pediatric suite.

Caring Hands and Upham’s Corner Health Center in Boston are two externship sites for the dental school that have received donated chairs since 2016. Other chairs have gone to clinics abroad as part of international service trips, and to a vocational program in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Each chair costs about $24,000, so receiving a recycled one with all the necessary water and electrical hookups is a great help to small nonprofit organizations. ”They’re still in working order, and they still look very nice” said Associate Professor Cynthia Yered, D90, director of the dental school’s externship program. “The clinics are very busy, and they put them to great use.” (Chairs that are not donated are disassembled for replacement parts.)

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