We determined the forces on the maxillary incisors during routine laryngoscopy in 65 adult patients. The forces were measured by a strain gauge based sensor positioned between the handle and the blade of the laryngoscope. The mean maximal force acting on the maxillary incisors was 49 N. In patients without maxillary incisors, the force acting on the gums was significantly lower at 21N (p < 0.001). These results suggest that, despite traditional advice to the contrary, a levering movement of the laryngoscope, using the maxillary incisors (or gums) as a fulcrum, is common practice. Biomechanical analysis revealed that, although levering is not the preferred movement, it is an efficient way of bringing the glottis into view. These results may have implications for future laryngoscope design.

Equipment, Laryngoscope
dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2044.1994.tb04358.x, hdl.handle.net/1765/64232
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Bucx, M.J.L, Snijders, C.J, van Geel, R.T.M, Robers, C, van de Giessen, H, Erdmann, W, & Stijnen, Th. (1994). Forces acting on the maxillary incisor teeth during laryngoscopy using the Macintosh laryngoscope. Anaesthesia, 49(12), 1064–1070. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2044.1994.tb04358.x