By Brian J. Wilkinson, PT, DPT, CHT, CLT; Kathryn Bell, RDH, EPDH, MS; and Amy Coplen, RDH, EPDH, MS
It should come as no surprise that ergonomics is a noteworthy topic within the professions of dentistry and dental hygiene. As is well established, oral health professionals are at a remarkably high risk of experiencing a physical injury while performing their normal work duties. In fact, dental hygienists frequently seek out remedial care to address persistent musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), with estimates indicating that 60% to 96% of the workforce are impacted. MSDs most commonly affect the neck, shoulders, wrist, and hand in the dental population. Despite avid attempts to educate dental professionals and implement ergonomic-based programs, MSDs are increasingly prevalent among this population.