However, persistent vibration to the wrist and hand from a high speed hand piece, persistent vibration and repetitious hand movements can make dental practitioners more prone to musculoskeletal disorders.
In addition, several dentists usually find themselves in an uncomfortable and static position when they treat their patients.
It matters to note that this sustained position can lead to injury, pain or serious cases of disability, musculoskeletal disorders as well as early retirement.
Dentists usually encounter various ergonomic risks or issues in clinical practice such as visual fatigue due to inadequate lighting of the oral cavity, poor visualization or lack of magnification; significant repetitive movements that come with forceful exertions during several procedures, poor working positions and postures; lack of adjustable equipment or poorly working equipment; sustained muscular contractions when long dental procedures are performed which can result to muscle spasms, decreased blood flow to tissues and increased strain on pain-producing structures.
It is essential to know that dentists can also be stressed so this can lead to the increased risk of musculoskeletal injury. Furthermore, increased fluid pressure and muscle tension can greatly contribute more than just biochemical risk factors. Due to this, it is quite important to take breaks in order to prevent forceful exertions and repetition, nerve injuries to wrists and hands.
In reality, having excellent, ergonomically-designed operatory that come with reliable equipment is deemed as quite supportive to a dental practitioner while enabling them easy access to the patient’s oral cavity. Indeed, this begins with a narrow and thin patient chair to enable the dental practitioner to get close.
A supportive operator stool is also required in order to provide correct spinal support and alignment. The last one is the lighting and magnification which improve the practitioner’s view into the oral cavity and at the same time aiding them sustain a balanced spine.
Being cautious of your working position has to be a vital part of the practitioner’s working equation. Sustaining a good balanced position during the day is a must.
Take into consideration that the most valuable factor is fixing any ergonomic problems in the operatory in order for the whole team to work with more neutral postures wherein the body is balanced and aligned whether standing or seated. In the same way, for any muscle imbalance which cannot be fixed through ergonomic changes, concentrate on regular physical activities and stay fit to impede these imbalances.
In line with these, headlamps, loupes and adjustable chairs are just a few of the useful investments which a dentist can make in order to ward off neck complications from developing since these allow for more neutral neck and head postures. Apart from these, the hand instruments must be light, comfortable and well-balanced. In short, when you hold a certain instrument using your hand, you must not feel any pulling or muscle tension.
Always remember that it is pivotal to listen to body pains and aches so you can easily respond before they aggravate. It is advised to participate in regular physical activities which specifically target those areas of fatigue, strain and stress.