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G Ital Med Lav Ergon. 2005 Apr-Jun;27(2):165-9.

[Work-related musculoskeletal diseases in dental professionals. 1. Prevalence and risk factors].

[Article in Italian]

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Fondazione Salvatore Maugeri, Clinica del Lavoro e della Riabilitazione, IRCCS--Istituto Scientifico di Veruno (NO), Servizio di Fisiatria Occupazionale ed Ergonomia, Veruno, Italy


The past two decades have witnessed a sharp rise in the incidence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD). All occupations are involved; in dental professionals (dentists, dental hygienists and dental auxiliaries) this problem occurs in 54-93% of subjects, with higher risk in elderly subjects and women. Spine, shoulder, elbow and hand are mostly involved. Prevention of WMSD is becoming crucial and requires the identification and modification of risk factors. Individual characteristics of the worker--such as gender, age, stature, physical condition, strength, etc.--may contribute to the occurrence of these musculoskeletal disorders. Moreover, the specific occupation and work organisation may be the source of ergonomic hazards. Awkward postures, prolonged repetitive movements, intense work schedules or fast work pace represent important risk factors for WMSD. Sometimes the dentist's workstation is not suited to the specific professional characteristics and an ergonomic improvement is needed. Finally, factors connected with professional equipment (such as vibrations, or sharp and hard surfaces causing pressure points) may also contribute to generating WMSD in dental professionals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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