The practice of dentistry as a profession carried out in very specific environmental working conditions can lead to a gradual deterioration of the health and professional diseases of the dentist, caused by the repeated exposure of agents or harmful situations, which are often overlooked during A long time, until the moment we become aware of them by the establishment of some pathology of those typified as labor.
Professional dentist diseases
Within them, “skeletal muscle disorders” occupy a prominent place where we include all those alterations that fall on the vertebral column and / or the upper or lower limbs, with fundamental affection of muscular or skeletal structures and that have a close relationship With the professional activity carried out, being considered a typical pathology of our profession.
Although it is becoming increasingly common practice for the dentist to sit, a position widely recommended for his comfort and relaxation when performing a manual work with a correct visual control of the same, it is still very common for us to adopt vicious or inappropriate postures, Even detestation may be the origin of most of the postural pathologies that are present today, as reflected in a survey of active dentists, where it is recorded that 90 percent work most of the time sitting and 49.5 Percent reported having had musculoskeletal pain in the seven days prior to the survey.
The areas where painful discomfort most frequently occurs are: neck (79.4 percent), shoulders (58.3 percent), dorsal region (50.5 percent), and lumbar region (59.8 percent); For other authors lumbar pains are the most frequent, but all the works agree that the regions most affected will be the cervical and lumbar, because of the great anatomical and physiological overload that the spine undergoes when working with the back inclined towards in front.
These disorders will be closely related to variables such as age in the profession, number of hours worked per day and week, specialty, etc. One of the main symptoms that will get our attention is going to be the pain, which will mainly fall to the level of the back or upper limbs.
The pain is a reaction of corporal alert that indicates a physical or mental suffering and that must make us think in the existence of a pathological process.Must bear in mind that for some experts most of these back pains will have an important psychological influence, being influenced by the stress, anguish, sadness or worries that overwhelm the individual, which together with an adequate postural control in The workplace and the relevant medical treatments, a psychic treatment must be associated with a general improvement in the health status of the worker.
In our midst, we find few work casualties due to temporary incapacity in relation to musculoskeletal disorders. We think that it is fundamentally due to the fact that the majority of professionals belong to the general scheme of self-employed workers, self-limiting the request of the work leave, having the affected professional to accept “in silence” their annoyances. But in any case it will have a significant economic impact attributed to lost production due to absenteeism of the job, modifications of schedules and even early retirement.
It is essential, based on the high incidence and prevalence of these disorders, to establish a correct conditioning of the work place, both for the dentist and for other dental professionals (hygienists, assistants, receptionist, etc.) that fits To the anthropometric characteristics of the individual, thus avoiding occupational hazards derived directly from the posture adopted during work, either for tasks in sitting or standing.
Due to the high precision required by the work usually done in dentistry, dentists frequently adopt forced positions during the performance of dental treatments.
These positions, also called bad postures, will have their origin in:
- Vicious habits
- Muscular weakness
- Mental attitude
- Inadequate clothing
With a special incidence in the spine of the dentist, they will end up generating musculoskeletal disorders at this level, with functional alterations or very characteristic body injuries that can be located at the cervical, dorsal or lumbar level.