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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 18  |  Page : 642-645

Occupational hazards in dentistry - A review

1 Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Public Health Dentistry, Babu Banarasi Das College of Dental Sciences, Lucknow, UP, India
2 Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Public Health Dentistry, K.S.R Institute of Dental Science and Research, Thiruchengode, Namakkal, India

Correspondence Address:
Hidayathulla Shaikh
Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Public Health Dentistry, Babu Banarasi Das College of Dental Sciences, Lucknow, UP
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Dental personnel and their patients are susceptible for number of occupational hazards. These cause the appearance of various ailments, specific to the profession, which develop and intensify with years. In many cases they result in diseases and disease complexes. The noise of suctions, saliva ejectors, turbines, engines, amalgamators, compressors, etc., causes impaired hearing. Dental medicaments and materials as well as disinfectants used in dental surgeries cause allergies and skin diseases. Strained posture at work destabilizes the osteoarticular system and causes overburdening of the spine. The overburdening also affects certain groups of muscles and joints. This brings about diseases of the musculoskeletal system and of the peripheral nervous system. Also, the functioning of the respiratory, cardiovascular and alimentary systems is disrupted. Close contact with the patients, with their saliva and blood, exposes the dentist to occupational biohazards, mainly of the contagious kind. The adverse effects of mercury and nitrous oxide are well-known, less so those of visible blue light. Many clinical situations may be a source of stress for the dental practitioner. Moreover, a limited surgical area and its artificial lighting results in eye strain, conjunctivitis, blurred vision or shortsightedness. Hence relying on literature the present paper discusses some selected occupational hazards.

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