Work-related musculoskeletal disorders among dentists - a questionnaire survey

Ann Agric Environ Med. 2011;18(1):79-84.


Dentists at work are susceptible to the development of health disorders. Bad working habits, repetitive tasks and uncomfortable posture contribute to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), stress and loss of production. The paper deals with the assessment of health status among dentists in Poland regarding the symptoms of musculoskeletal pain. The survey was conducted among 220 dentists. The questionnaire was concerned with demographic details, work duration and acquired specialization, organization and methods of work in the surgery, and also disorders connected with the musculoskeletal system and physical prophylactic activity. It was found that over 92% of the surveyed dentists experienced MSDs, especially in the neck (47%) and lower back (35%). More than 29% of the dentists experienced trouble with fingers, 23% with hip, whereas 20% demonstrated problems in the midback, and also in the shoulders (20%). Pain in the wrists was reported by 18.3%, and pain in the knees, feet or elbows by 15-16% of respondents. Statistical dependence was shown between the years of practice and the period of time when disorders occurred. Moreover, significance relationships were found between MSDs and both standing work position and non-use of rest breaks. It was concluded that limited ergonomics in the work environment of dentists results in MSDs, and its prevalence is very high. The symptoms of MSDs increased with the number of years of practice.

MeSH terms

  • Back Pain / epidemiology
  • Back Pain / etiology*
  • Dentists*
  • Ergonomics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / epidemiology
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / etiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Pain / epidemiology
  • Pain / etiology*
  • Poland / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors