Ergonomics

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Dr Mark HassedDepending on which study you read between 50% and 80% of dentists suffer from back problems, neck problems or shoulder problems. Or sometimes all three.

You would think that would make ergonomics a vital issue to dentists but you would be wrong. Most dental offices I have seen are understaffed or poorly laid out or both.

  • Understaffing means that dentists have to constantly get things out of drawers instead of having things come to them.
  • Poor lay out means that sometimes needed items are in awkward places such as low drawers or even 180 degrees behind the dentist.

The net effect of these two things is that dentists wind up at the end of their work day with sore backs and tired eyes from the constant twisting, reaching and refocussing.

Have a good look at your work layout and see what you can do to make it easier for yourself. I discuss this in my seminar The Art of Efficient Dentistry.

2 thoughts on “Ergonomics

    davidmoffet said:
    February 9, 2016 at 11:25 am

    Mark, I’m always surprised by the number of fit looking dentists with back, neck, and shoulder ailments. It’s got to be the dental operatory layout affecting their posture and function.
    I’ve no doubt my arthritic shoulder was caused from holding a dental mirror out in space for over 30 years.
    Definitely our occupation is the key contributing factor to these ailments.

    Dr Mark Hassed responded:
    February 9, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    So many dentists work with “chicken wing” arms — that is, there arms sticking out. It makes for sore shoulders.

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