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Musculoskeletal disorders among lebanese dentists-trend evolution.

Background: Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) are significant workplace problems affecting dental professionals. This disease is on the rise among dental workers. Despite improvements in knowledge and ergonomic strategies in dental workplace, many dentists still don’t believe that their work environments affect their physical health. Moreover, many dentists don’t follow ergonomic guidelines in their practices.

Aim: To assess the prevalence and the relationships between demographic variables and some dental practices with musculoskeletal disorders among Lebanese dentists.

Materials and methods: Self-administrated questionnaires were answered by a sample of 218 dentists. I collected information about demographic variables such as gender, age, and years of experience, practices, and specialization. I also collected information about other variables such as: location of pain in different parts of the body. The recorded data was analysed with SPSS 20. P-value <0.05 was considered to be statistically significant.

Results: 92.7% of the participants suffered from musculoskeletal disorders; out of which 40% had at least one MSD symptom over the past twelve months. Most common areas affected by MSD in order of magnitude were low back pain (61.8%), neck pain (51.5%), shoulders pain (39.5%), fingers pain (14.1%), wrists pain (11.8%), and elbows pain (8.6%). Pain differences were statistically significant among specialists. Back pain was the highest among paediatric dentists. Neck pain was the highest among endodontic dentists. While shoulders pain was the highest among dental surgeons. Neck pain was related to the working hours per day. Pain location was statistically significant between genders. In particular, females suffered more than males especially at the neck and the wrist levels. Permanent pain by location is inversely proportional to physical activity.

Conclusion: These findings may confirm that Lebanese dentists do not respect the ergonomic recommendations, and that Lebanese dentists have low awareness about their health issues. Further studies are needed to identify the specific risk factors for MSD for Lebanese dentists in order to introduce effective remedial measures.

Author(s): Abi Aad Lamia