Occupational health problems of dentists in the United Arab Emirates

Int Dent J. 2012 Feb;62(1):52-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1875-595X.2011.00091.x.


Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of some occupationally related health problems among dentists in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Method: A cross-sectional study using the one-stage complex sampling technique to evaluate the results of a self-reporting questionnaire distributed to 844 dentists working in three cities (Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah) in UAE.

Results: Seven hundred and thirty-three (87%) dentists, aged 22-70 years, responded. The most common occupational health problems were musculoskeletal pain [497 (68%)] and percutaneous injury [306 (42%)]. Around one-fifth [135 (18%)] of dentists had a history of contact dermatitis, mostly caused by latex gloves, 53% had eye problems and 5% had hearing problems.

Conclusions: As exposure to potential infectious agents is of concern, continuing education in the avoidance of percutaneous injuries would be beneficial. Further studies are needed to identify the causes of musculoskeletal pain and the appropriate interventions to reduce its prevalence; similar measures are required to reduce exposure to agents which may produce contact dermatitis. The awareness of occupational health problems should be highlighted at all clinical and research symposia.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dentistry*
  • Dentists / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss, Noise-Induced / epidemiology
  • Hearing Loss, Noise-Induced / etiology
  • Humans
  • Latex Hypersensitivity / epidemiology
  • Latex Hypersensitivity / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Musculoskeletal Pain / epidemiology
  • Musculoskeletal Pain / etiology
  • Needlestick Injuries / epidemiology
  • Needlestick Injuries / etiology
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Refractive Errors / epidemiology
  • Refractive Errors / etiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United Arab Emirates / epidemiology
  • Young Adult