Quarterly scientific journal

Musculoskeletal diseases of Spine and risk factors during Dentistry: Multilevel ergonomic analysis

Dimitra Paggou , Fotoula Babatsikou , Joan Marika Kiousi , Charilaos Koutis


The prevalence of occupational musculoskeletal diseases (MSDs) among dentists is estimated to be high, despite the ergonomic interventions in this sector. The aim of the present study was a) the evaluation of spine MSDs in dentists and b) the assessment of risk factors related to dentist practice. Material and Method: The sample of the present study consisted of 16 dentists (n=16). The participants divided into two (2) groups, based on MSDs of the spine. A multilevel ergonomic analysis was conducted in both groups, which evaluated individual, physical and occupational risk factors during nine (9) dental procedures. For the analysis of data were used, direct methods (video, observation, amended postural analysis OWAS), indirect method (questionnaire) and quantitative methods of ergonomic analysis (computerized mediball postural stabilizer cushion). Results: The most frequent MSDs of spine among dentists in the present research are localized on low back (66,7%) and neck (8,3%). Based on OWAS analysis of 2348 working postures, statistically significant correlation was found between dentists' MSDs and factors concerning both dentists (weakness of stabilizer muscles of spine, awkward positions during working time, fatigue) (p< 0,05) as well as the nature of dental work (specific dental procedures, patient's, the position of patients, tools and dentists during the working time, certain areas of the mouth, working hours, lack of breaks, etc) (p< 0,05) respectively. Conclusions: Low back pain and neck pain are the most frequent MSDs of dentists' spine. They are related to individual and other occupational factors which could have been prevented using proper ergonomic interventions.

Keywords: Dentists, musculoskeletal diseases (MSDs), risk factors, OWAS postural analysis, ergonomic assessment

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