How do dental hygienists avoid pain?

For example, a dental hygienist might stretch the trapezius muscles on the side of the chair between scraping and polishing. Better positioning (for hygienists and patients) The less the hygienist bends, hunches, twists, stretches, bends or reaches the hygienist, the less strain it will place on your muscles, joints and bones. The proper position to work with a patient is to sit, with the spine in a neutral position and the shoulders relaxed. Working as close to the patient as possible prevents the arms or back from being extended too far and always facing the patient.

Hygienists should also keep their feet flat on the floor and adjust the height of the stool so that the thighs lean slightly downward. The weight should be distributed evenly between each foot and the buttocks, similar to a tripod. If the procedure requires a better view of the patient's oral cavity, hygienists may ask the patient to turn his head and use HD mirrors to improve visibility. The ideal is to keep instruments approximately at arm's height and within a 21-inch radius.

The patient's body position also has an enormous impact on ergonomics. According to the magazine RDH Magazine, the ideal is for the patient to be placed in a supine position to treat the upper arch and semi-supine for the lower arch, but this practice is often not practical due to time limitations. Instead, they recommend placing the back of the patient's chair at a 10- to 15-degree angle to the floor. Then, use a contoured dental cushion to achieve the proper orientation of the occlusal plane.

Hygienists should be sure to ask their patients to place their head at the end of the headrest to eliminate the need to reach out over the empty space of the headrest. Choosing to use over-the-counter pain relievers is just one piece of the pain management puzzle. Other modalities, such as low-impact exercise, such as yoga, stress reduction techniques, massage therapy, acupuncture, and hydrotherapy methods, can contribute to pain relief and physical rehabilitation. Before sitting with your patient, check that the support table with instruments, keyboard, electric scaler, photopolymerizer, air and water syringe and a suction cup are within a reasonable distance.

If you're using a ceiling light, consider switching to a wired or wireless option mounted on a magnifying glass so that the light follows your eyes. This eliminates the need to continuously stretch the arm upwards to adjust the light as the patient moves in response to direction. Ask the patient to move their head in the direction you need so that you can see the inside of the mouth. Don't be afraid that they will turn to the right or left, or that they will raise or lower your head.

If you don't, you'll compromise your body position throughout the day and then wonder why it hurts when you go home at night. In addition, NSAIDs should be avoided during pregnancy, as they can reduce the prostaglandins needed to maintain adequate fetal circulation during pregnancy and for uterine contraction during delivery. Thomas Viola, RpH, CCP, founder of “Pharmacology Declassified,” is a board-certified pharmacist who also works in the dental profession as a clinical educator, professional speaker, and published author. Ergonomic instruments and equipment Ergonomics should be a key consideration when choosing dental instruments and equipment.

Tom has taught hundreds of continuing education courses to dental professionals, nationally and internationally, in the areas of oral pharmacology and local anesthesia, and is known for his regular contributions to several professional dentistry journals. All dental professionals learn how important ergonomics is to prevent WMD and occupational injuries by practicing correct posture, proper patient positioning and proper instrumentation. However, focusing on proper nutrition and regular stretching and strengthening exercises could prolong the longevity of your dental career. National Dental Hygiene Month provides all of us with an opportunity to celebrate dedicated, hard-working dental hygienists across the country.

As a dental hygienist, there's no shame in feeling pain, as it's quite common for hygienists to experience it. Most dental professionals did not receive adequate evidence-based ergonomic training in school to ensure a long and healthy career (26%). Therefore, dental professionals should regularly perform back and hip flexor stretches and, at the same time, strengthen the core muscles. Dental professionals are constantly concerned about injuries that may affect their ability to practice in the long term.

Hygienists should look for an instrument with an ideal weight and a large diameter that provides a textured grip surface. Dental professionals spend a lot of time sitting in uncomfortable positions, increasing the risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD). . .