Dentists are often subjected to uncomfortable postures, repetitive hand motions and noisy handpieces as they care for their patients. That combination can lead to pain and hearing loss.
In the American Dental Association’s 2021 Dentist Health and Well-Being Survey Report, 84% of dentists reported pain or discomfort while working, most commonly in the neck, shoulders and back. Of those dentists, 14% indicated the pain interfered with their work.
More than a third of dentists reported experiencing hearing issues, and of them, over 60% had not been evaluated by an audiologist.
The ADA Practice Institute offers resources to assist dentists with preventing pain and hearing loss. Find ergonomic stretches to help avoid work-related pain and injuries on the ADA website, and see below for tips to protect your hearing.
• Wear ear plugs or noise-canceling headphones when you use dental equipment.
• Consider the noise level produced by dental equipment when making purchasing decisions.
• Get tested to establish a baseline of your hearing.
• Monitor your hearing acuity on a regular basis to encourage correct diagnoses and early intervention.
For additional wellness resources, visit ADA.org/wellness.