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Title Practicing Clinical Dentistry Increases the Risk of Developing Musculoskeletal Disorders
Clinical Question Does practicing clinical dentistry increase the risk of musculoskeletal disorders?
Clinical Bottom Line Practicing clinical dentistry increases the risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders, with different disorders developing between dentist and dental hygienist.
Best Evidence (you may view more info by clicking on the PubMed ID link)
PubMed ID Author / Year Patient Group Study type
(level of evidence)
#1) 19659711Hayes/200923 studies measuring the possible risk factors or the prevalence of MSDs among dental professionals Systematic review of non-randomized trials
Key resultsPrevalence of general musculoskeletal problems among practicing clinicians ranged from 64% to 93%, with the most prevalent area of pain being the back (36.3-60.1%) and the neck (19.8-85%) for dentist and the hand and wrist regions being the most prevalent regions for dental hygienists (60–69.5%). Musculoskeletal problems represent a significant burden for the dental profession, as confirmed by the systematic review.
#2) 15189564Alexopoulos/2004430 dentists in Greece with at least 1 year of dental practice experience Questionnaire Survey - Nordic
Key resultsA random selection of 490 dentists, from 1063; with an 88% response rate, were included in the study. Logistic regression and multivariate analysis revealed that 62% of dentists had at least one musculoskeletal problem, 30% had chronic problems, 16% had spells of pain and absence, and 32% received medical care. Factors of physical load were linked with back pain (OR = 1.59), shoulder pain (OR = 2.57), and wrist/hand pain (OR = 3.46). Occupation as the origin of the disorder was reported by 57% for lower back pain and 79% for all other disorder pain. 30% of the dentists had one complaint that lasted for longer than a month. All results reported were at a 95% CI.
Evidence Search MSD [ALL Fields] AND (“dentist”); ("musculoskeletal"[All Fields] AND "disorders"[All Fields] OR "musculoskeletal disorders"[All Fields]) AND ("dentists"[MeSH Terms] OR "dentists"[All Fields] OR "dentist"[All Fields])
Comments on
The Evidence
Validity: Both of the studies had a large dentist group, with the Systemic Review narrowing down the search results to 23 studies from the initial 95 titles based on relevance, the quality of study and its references, and whether the study measured the prevalence of MSD or possible risk factors. The Nordic Questionnaire Survey measured the musculoskeletal complaints of 430 dentists with at least 1 year of experience and had a response rate of 88%. Perspective: Overall, I found that the studies had sufficient experimental groups and provided greater insight into the prevalence of MSD among dentists. However, studies that include consideration of new technological and ergonomic advancements are needed to compare their impact on the current prevalence of MSD among dental practitioners as compared to earlier studies.
Applicability Based on the studies, more than 50% of dentists experienced some form of MSD. For dental students and young practicing dentists, this highlights the need to identify ways of reducing the negative impact of MSDs. These findings make it incumbent on dental practitioners to apply preventive and ergonomically favorable techniques early on and therefore be able to have a longer and more satisfying career.
Specialty/Discipline (General Dentistry)
Keywords MSD, musculoskeletal disorder, ergonomics, dentist, occupational health
ID# 2839
Date of submission: 04/14/2015spacer
E-mail khanani@livemail.uthscsa.edu
Author Madiha Khanani
Co-author(s) e-mail
Faculty mentor/Co-author Juanita Lozano-Pineda, DDS, MPH & Michael Geelhoed, DPT
Faculty mentor/Co-author e-mail pinedaj@uthscsa.edu; geelhoed@uthscsa.edu
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