Occupation-related musculoskeletal disorders among dental professionals
Background and aim. Dentists are exposed to a wide range of work-related factors that may result in various occupational diseases of which musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are common. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence and distribution of MSDs among dental professionals of our institution and to compare the prevalence of MSDs among the various dental specialists.
Methods. A self-administered questionnaire, which included basic demographic details, work experience in dentistry, and work profile related questions along with the Standard Nordic Questionnaire, was administered to the study participants. Statistical analysis for the data obtained was performed using SPSS Version 16.0 (Chicago, SPSS Inc.). The chi-square test was applied to test the association between MSD and variables such as gender, designation, type of dentistry and usage of computers. The Mann Whitney U test was used to assess the relationship between MSD and age, experience, sick leave, number of patients attended per day. A p-value < 0.05 was considered significant.
Results. 151 subjects participated in the study, and the prevalence of MSD in the last 12 months among dental professionals was 58.3% (88 out of 151 subjects). The most common site affected by MSD was the neck (66.7%). Also, it was noted that among various dental specialists, the Endodontists suffered the maximum (88.02%) musculoskeletal pain. Fifty individuals (33.11%) suffered from pain in multiple sites.
Conclusion. Work-related musculoskeletal disorders and pain can be reduced through proper operator-patient positioning, taking adequate breaks between patients, maintaining good physical health through regular exercises.