Ergonomics and Dental Hygiene

Many dental hygienists work in pain or know others suffering from musculoskeletal disorders, known as MSDs. Tendonitis, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other MSDs are injuries caused by wear and tear to the tendons, nerves, muscles, and joints.

Symptoms of MSDs include pain, aching, burning, stiffness, swelling, redness, and limited range of joint motion. If the cause is ignored, occasional pain can turn into chronic pain, which does not get better with rest or over-the-counter pain medicine. Dental hygienists and their employers can prevent MSDs by paying attention to ergonomics. This means taking simple and practical steps to design or arrange the workplace for safe and efficient work.

Pain Is NOT in the Job Description – A New 'Digital Story' Series

CDHA has partnered with the California Department of Public Health Occupational Health Branch and the University of California at Berkeley Ergonomics Program to create videos on ergonomics by and for dental hygienists.

Dental Hygiene and Ergonomics Video Series – watch all 5 videos (for a total of 20 minutes)

Additional Resources

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health – Ergonomics and Musculoskeletal Disorders