Evaluation of Ergonomic Risks during Dental Work

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V. Petrović1 / 1 / P. Bulat2 / M. Djurić-Jovičić3 / N. Miljković4 / D. Marković1

1University of Belgrade, Clinic for Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry School of Dental Medicine
2University of Belgrade, Serbian Institute of Occupational Health School of Medicine
3University of Belgrade, Innovation Center School of Electrical Engineering
4University of Belgrade, Signals and System Department School of Electrical Engineering Belgrade, Serbia


Aim: The purpose was to assess ergonomic risk level in dentistry, which may contribute to manifestation of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD).

Methods and Materials: The study included ten dentists, postgraduate students, mean age (33 ± 3.4). Participants were asked to perform typical dental examination in standing and sitting positions. The surface electromyography (EMG) was recorded during dental work from both left and right shoulder muscles: descendent trapezius muscle (T); back muscles: erector spinae muscle (ES); and neck muscles: sternocleidomastoid muscle (SCM) and splenius capitis muscle (SC).

Results: High muscles forces, greater than 21% of the maximal voluntary contraction (MVC), which could be indicative of high risk, particularly occurred in muscles SC on both sides of the body in the sitting position. The medium risk level occurred in the same muscles on both sides in standing position. Left and right T muscles were under medium ergonomic risk level in both, sitting and standing working positions. SCM muscles on the left and right side of the body in both working positions were under low risk level, lower than 10% of the MVC. In sitting position, medium risk level occurred in ES muscles on both body sides, while in standing position the risk was low.

Conclusion: Dentists are exposed to ergonomic risk. By combining both sitting and standing position the risk can be reduced.

Keywords: Musculoskeletal disorders; Dentistry; Electromyography; Ergonomic risk


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Citation Information: Balkan Journal of Dental Medicine. Volume 20, Issue 1, Pages 33–39, ISSN (Online) 2335-0245, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bjdm-2016-0005, April 2016