Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and dental practice Part 2. Risk factors for dentistry, magnitude of the problem, prevention, and dental ergonomics

Int Dent J. 2007 Feb;57(1):45-54. doi: 10.1111/j.1875-595x.2007.tb00117.x.


As a consequence of occupational stresses placed on their bodies, oral health care providers (OHP) are vulnerable to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Muscular imbalance, neuromuscular inhibition, and pain and dysfunction may frequently be observed among OHP. Repeated unnatural, deviated or inadequate working postures, forceful hand movements, inadequate equipment or workplace designs and inappropriate work patterns are likely to be the particular risk factors. However, WMSDs are not an avoidable part of OHPs' professional lives. Paying the necessary attention to occupational and individual risk factors, prevalence, symptoms and consequences of WMSDs, and implementing the recommended health and safety measures can enable a long and healthy career. This review essentially aims to provide background information for OHP regarding the magnitude of the problem, particular risk factors and the available recommendations for prevention.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dentists*
  • Ergonomics*
  • Humans
  • Occupational Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Posture*