Analysis of spine loads in dentistry—impact of an altered sitting position of the dentist
Max Wunderlich, Thomas Eger, Thomas Rüther, Andreas Meyer-Falcke, Dieter Leyk
DOI: 10.4236/jbise.2010.37090   PDF    HTML     6,285 Downloads   12,395 Views   Citations


Neck and low back pain causes highest disability rates in industrialized countries. Apart from blue-collar occupations dentists and dental care personnel are also strongly affected by work related back pain. However, due to missing analysing systems spine exposure could not be adequately estimated for sitting and non load bearing tasks. Therefore, a new biomechanical measurement system was developed to analyze spine and trunk kinematics. To explore the potential kinematics impact on the spine two days of periodontology care have been examined. Moreover, to asses the influence of an altered sitting position data was collected in 9 (day 1) and 12 (day 2) o’clock position. Data were collected and analyzed by the new 3D-SpineMoveGuard. The systems analyze postures and movements of spine and trunk by ultrasound and inclinometer. Two days of routine non-surgical periodontal treatment were recorded by a frequency of 10 Hz. Moderate awkward postures could be assessed for 90% of the treatment. Up to 85% of the working days were spent in isometric position. Movements were rare and of small amplitude. There were no relevant differences between 9 and 12 o’clock position. The frequently reported back pain in dentists is not only related to severe body postures rather than to the high amount of isometric spine loads. Moreover, an altered sitting position did not reduce this physiological stress. Therefore, dentist specific interventions concepts should pay more attention to physical training during and off work. Ergonomic investments should be carefully evaluated before implemented.

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Wunderlich, M. , Eger, T. , Rüther, T. , Meyer-Falcke, A. and Leyk, D. (2010) Analysis of spine loads in dentistry—impact of an altered sitting position of the dentist. Journal of Biomedical Science and Engineering, 3, 664-671. doi: 10.4236/jbise.2010.37090.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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