[Purpose] Musculoskeletal disorders are common causes of work-related disability in different professions involving the frequent practice of lifting, stooping, twisting, prolonged sitting, or standing. The dental profession is one such profession. Our aim was to determine the prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders among dental professionals in Saudi Arabia, the factors associated with them, and their consequences and to propose preventive measures for them.
[Subjects and Methods] A self-administered online questionnaire was sent to 225 members of the Saudi Dental Association. It included questions on demographic and professional characteristics, general medical history, and history of work-related musculoskeletal disorders before and after joining the dental profession.
[Results] The questionnaire was completed by 65% of the respondents. Among them 85% reported that they had developed some pain due to work after joining the dental profession, and 42% reported that they were suffering pain at the time of the survey. Besides lower back, shoulder, and neck regions, the hands, upper back, and other regions like the elbows, buttocks, thighs, leg, and feet were areas in which they pain.
[Conclusion] The prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders among dental professionals in Saudi Arabia is high, affecting their daily activities, sometimes even forcing them to change their work setting. Age, gender, specialty of work, work setting, number of contact hours with patients, etc., were all found to be related to their work-related pain. We need to emphasize the role of ergonomics, counseling, proper techniques of patient handling, etc., during the training of dental professionals so that they can work efficiently.