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Identifying musculoskeletal disorders amongst dentists - The need for the hour

Mansi Atri, Anup Nagraj.

Abstract
Background: The postures, in which a dentist sits, require over half of the body’s muscles to work to hold the body motionless while resisting gravity. The static forces resulting from these postures have been shown to be more taxing than dynamic forces. Therefore, when the supporting muscles begin to reflect fatigue, a process of pain and discomfort begins and could very well lead to musculoskeletal injury.

Aims & Objective: The aim of the study was to assess the presence of musculoskeletal disorders amongst dentists practicing in Jaipur city and to determine the factors contributing towards the occurrence of musculoskeletal disorders.

Materials and Methods: A close ended with few open ended, self-administered questionnaire consisting of 32 questions seeking information about the recipient’s prevalence of pain, practice of dentistry and the musculoskeletal symptoms was completed by all the practicing dentist of Jaipur City.

Results: Approximately 73.3% dentists reported having musculoskeletal pain during their dental careers. When pain was compared with the Body Mass ratio or the quetelet index of the individual no significant value was obtained. A higher overall percentage of women reported pain in the neck followed by mid-back than men, and a higher overall percentage of men reported pain in the mid- to lower back regions than women. Dental ergonomics and working postures of dentist were found to be the maximum contributors resulting in pain.

Conclusion: It can be concluded that musculoskeletal pain is prevalent among general dental practitioners in Jaipur city. Although, no gender variation was observed amongst the prevalence of pain. The results revealed that musculoskeletal pain is multifactorial.

Key words: Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), Dentists, Prolonged Static Postures (PSPs).



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