Background: Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) are common problems among dentists, dental hygienists, and dental students due to their static working positions. This review article discusses the prevalence of work-related MSDs among dental health professionals based on peer-reviewed research studies which have reported about MSDs among dental health professionals.

Methodology: For this review, papers that studied and researched the prevalence of MSDs and their risk factors were considered. Articles were reviewed from relevant articles, which were searched online from January to April 2020. Case studies and literature reviews published within the last 10 years in peer-reviewed journals were included. Studies conducted among participants other than dental hygienists, dentists or dental students were excluded without any restrictions based on age, sex, race, or socioeconomic status.

Results: The prevalence of musculoskeletal disorder-related pain ranges from 39% to 95% among dental health professionals. Dentists, dental hygienists, and dental students have reported experiencing most frequent pain in cervical (88.3%), lower back (15.7%-86%), upper back (17%-55%), shoulder (12.7%- 92.7%), neck (15.7%-85%) regions. Hand/wrist pain ranged from 22%-54.8% and lower extremities pain reported was pain at ankles/feet (19%), hip/thigh (15%), and knees (9%). There is no large difference between work-related musculoskeletal pain rates at different body parts among dentists and dental hygienists.

Conclusions: This review indicates the importance of considering ergonomics and preventive measures in sustaining the highest quality of dental care to the public and suggests that musculoskeletal disorder-related pain affects physical and mental health along with the overall well-being of a dental professional. This review shows the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain among dental healthcare professionals providing dental care to the public around the world which indicates more scientific research and regular musculoskeletal pain assessment are needed to address this issue for early detection, effective prevention and management of underlying causes of musculoskeletal disorders.



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