Ergonomic risk factors associated with clinical dentistry.J Calif Dent Assoc. 2002 Feb; 30(2):139-48.JC
Ergonomics has formed an integral aspect of dental education at the University of British Columbia since the early 1980s. However, studies continued to indicate that dentists are at risk for developing musculoskeletal problems. This provided the impetus for a study of the risk factors associated with these problems. The data analyzed from 421 survey respondents in British Columbia indicate that indeed dentists are experiencing musculoskeletal pain and discomfort. However, the data also suggest that dentists can recognize and identify their own postures, practicing positions, and the equipment usage patterns that are associated with increased risks of experiencing musculoskeletal pain and discomfort. Such recognition is the first critical step to avoiding or neutralizing ergonomic habits and work environment layouts that might otherwise unnecessarily shorten professional clinical careers.