Posture and Vertebral Pathology Issues in Dental Practice

Cristina Iordache, Codrina Ancuţa, Eugen Ancuţa, Oana Ţănculescu, Zenaida Surlari

Both posture and professional movement in a dental office are shaping the behaviour of the musculoskeletal system, particularly the spine. Two different postural methods are commonly used by dental practitioners, including sitting and standing postures. While sitting is considered as ergonomic, the standing position is considered non-ergonomic, with significant consequences on vertebral structures. Objectives: to realize a complex analysis of the disco-vertebral and muscular pathology in relation with either orthostatic or sitting posture in the real life dental practice. Materials and methods: prospective observational trial on 142 dentists classified into groups based on the predominant position during medical activity, either orthostatic or sitting on ergonomic chair. Results: there is no ideal working posture for the dentist; both orthostatic and sitting position with three subtypes (ischiatic, ischio-femoral, ischio-sacral support) result in significant spine morbidity, meaning an increased number of degenerative disco-vertebral pathology identified clinically (local or irradiated pain, restriction of mobility, impaired tolerance for standing position) and imagistic (X-rays, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging). Conclusion: It is widely promoted the recurrent alternation of posture in dental practice and an ergonomic attitude at the workplace. An individualized, strictly monitored kinetic activity is mandatory for both prevention and management of static and dynamic spine abnormalities due to repetitive postural stress in dental practice.

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