Comparative ergonomic evaluation of the hand-pieces of three instrument series for root planning


Introduction: Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) are the most frequent cause of disability in the working population, exceeding accidental trauma in frequency. The risk of developing work-related upper limb disorders (WURLDs) is high among dental hygienists and the most frequently affected are elderly subjects and women. Since such disorders can have a negative effect on the working life and on the quality of life, it is of vital importance to put in place preventive measures. Aim: To make a comparative analysis of the hand-pieces of three different manual instruments used for root planning. Materials and Methods: To evaluate the physical characteristics (section, diameter, external surface, weight) of the hand-pieces of three series of instruments for root planning, twenty-nine dental hygienists students were videoed while working clinically. They were also interviewed using a specific questionnaire to determine subjective preferences in terms of perceived efficacy, safety, comfort and general acceptability of the hand-piece used. Results: Lightness, full-cylindrical section with larger-diameter ends, and coating with anti-slip silicone are the most appreciated characteristics of a hand-piece. Conclusions: Ergonomic analyses of manual instruments are not frequent in the dental field, and the literature reports no guidelines to guide selection of the type of hand-piece of manual instruments. The data gathered may help manufacturers in designing new manual instruments, and guiding professionals in their selection.

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Migliario, M. , Melle, A. , Carcieri, P. and Rimondini, L. (2014) Comparative ergonomic evaluation of the hand-pieces of three instrument series for root planning. Open Journal of Stomatology, 4, 61-66. doi: 10.4236/ojst.2014.42011.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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