Musculoskeletal diseases among dental personnel – prevalence, prevention, and rehabilitation
The prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) in the lower back, neck, shoulders and forearms/hands is very high among dentists, dental assistants and dental hygienists. This may be due to repetitive work and static working postures.
The aim of the present paper is to give an introduction to the kind of job exposures and potential risk factors that may cause job-related MSD among dentists and to give suggestions how to prevent, relieve, or rehabilitate existing MSD.
Material and methods
Review articles (reviews), cross-sectional studies, and intervention studies (randomized controlled trials, RCTs) were obtained via electronic databases like PubMed MEDLINE, Cochrane Library and Google Scholar. Keywords used in the search were: musculoskeletal disorders, dental hygienists, dental assistants, dentists, ergonomics, occupational health, safety intervention, physical training, resistance training, strength training, exercise therapy, endurance training.
Dentistry is a high-risk occupation for developing MSD. Prevention or rehabilitate of MSD requires interventions in terms of ergonomic, organizational and technical improvements, as well as increases in physical capacity of the individual employee, that can be achieved through strength training.