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Effect of tool design on hand pain in dental practitioners.

Authors
Rempel-D; Lee-DL; Dawson-K; Loomer-P
Source
Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, R01-OH-008892, 2012 Sep; :1-22
Link
NIOSHTIC No.
20044970
Abstract
Background: Periodontal curette handle design may influence arm pain in dental practitioners. This 4-month randomized controlled study evaluated the effects of curette handle diameter and weight on arm pain among dental practitioners. Methods: Dental hygienists and dentists (N=110) who performed scaling, root planing or dental prophylaxis participated. Right wrist, elbow and shoulder pain levels were assessed weekly. Participants were randomized to receive either a set of light (14 g), large diameter (11 mm) or heavy (34 g), narrow diameter (8 mm) periodontal curettes. Changes in mean pain scores across the study period were compared between treatment groups using general linear models controlling for covariates. Results: The improvement in pain scores was greater for subjects who used the lighter, larger diameter curettes across the 3 body regions evaluated. In the final adjusted model the differences were only significant for the shoulder region (p=0.02). Conclusions: Dental instrument design influences upper extremity pain in dental practitioners. Using a lighter, larger diameter instrument may be an easy and cost-effective intervention to reduce or prevent upper extremity pain associated with dental hygiene work. Clinical implications: Practitioners should consider using lightweight instruments with large diameters when performing scaling and root planing in order to prevent arm pain.
Keywords
Dentistry; Dentists; Musculoskeletal-system; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Extremities; Arm-injuries; Humans; Men; Women; Models; Tools; Ergonomics; Equipment-design; Repetitive-work; Cumulative-trauma; Cumulative-trauma-disorders
Publication Date
20120930
Document Type
Final Grant Report
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
2012
NTIS Accession No.
PB2014-109129
NTIS Price
A03
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R01-OH-008892
NIOSH Division
OEP
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
State
CA
Performing Organization
University of California, San Francisco
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