Musculoskeletal disorders among dentists and variation in dental work

Appl Ergon. 1998 Apr;29(2):119-25. doi: 10.1016/s0003-6870(97)00017-3.


The purpose was to assess risk factors in dentistry which may contribute to musculoskeletal disorders. A questionnaire was used to identify common work tasks, and to estimate one year prevalence for troubles (65% for the neck/shoulder, 59% for the low back). In a field study working postures and electromyography (shoulder/neck) were registered during the three most common work tasks. Prolonged neck flexion and upper arm abduction were found, as well as high static muscle activity levels (splenius and trapezius muscles). No differences between work tasks were found regarding postures, frequencies of movements or muscle activity. Alterations between the three work tasks do not produce sufficient variation to reduce musculoskeletal load on the neck and shoulders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arm / physiology
  • Back / physiology
  • Dental Care
  • Dentists*
  • Electromyography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Movement
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / etiology*
  • Neck Muscles / physiology*
  • Neck Pain / etiology
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology*
  • Posture / physiology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Rotation
  • Shoulder / physiology
  • Shoulder Pain / etiology
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Surveys and Questionnaires