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04.08.2015
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Ergonomically excellent

Physical ailments afflict many surgery teams. Whether headaches, back or neck pain, often ergonomic working helps prevent these pains. With only a few changes or small aids, improvement is directly in sight.

The problem is the same in many dental surgeries: Surgery employees and therapists complain of headaches, backache or neck and shoulder pains. Visits to the orthopaedist or physiotherapist are often a consequence. However, the connections between the ailments and their work is often not recognised by the dental surgeries. Ergonomic working could prevent some aches and pains.

Surgery employees have not often dealt with this subject. It is not part of the training and the dentists are not given any knowledge regarding ergonomics during their studies.

Quite the contrary: By using the phantom head for learning, dentists already develop an early habit of bad postures. The typical errors in the daily life of the surgery include an incorrect sitting posture, a bad working position due to wrong patient positioning, lack of work division between assistants and therapists, and of course the wrong aspiration and holding technique.

It already starts with the patient positioning. The patients are positioned in the treatment unit in such a way that they feel as comfortable as possible. This does not always allow the correct ergonomic working posture; dentists and assistants must carry out the treatment with a bent posture. It is already helpful to set the get-in-position of the patient into the treatment unit more horizontally, so that he is not too surprised when positioned so low that head and feet are at the same height, e.g. for upper jaw treatment.

A neck cushion, which can additionally be provided on the headrest, is also suitable for the comfort of the patient. Also, the correct way of sitting must be learned. Especially the intervertebral discs are stressed by regular incorrect sitting positions. That's why not only the chair should be set to their individual requirements by every assistant.

The sitting position is also decisive: Feet flat and firmly on the floor, straight trunk, pelvis tilted slightly forwards, shoulders relaxed and the legs slightly apart. Upright sitting can be supported by seat cushions, for example.

Also, a systematic aspiration and holding technique should not be neglected. Especially in preventing wrist pain or tendonitis. A three-point gripping technique is ergonomic. Using small aids (such as a ball joint or pivotable aspiration tubes), the suction handpieces from Dürr Dental can be combined in three individual ways – according to the requirements of the employee.

Surgery trainings concerning ergonomic working in the dental surgeries on site are also sensible, such as those Dürr Dental provides. Only in the surgery can the adjustments to the working method be successfully implemented. The ideal situation is where the whole team is trained. Because ergonomic working also has an effect on the working positions of therapists and assistants, the division of work during treatment and the correct handing over of instruments.

It is definitely a good start to question the interconnection of physical complaints within the surgery team. Stress, overweight or lack of sport are not always the reasons. Also, neglecting ergonomics in daily work life can lead to these problems.

Ergonomic working protects the therapist and the team against taking time off work.

Published by: rf
Ergonomically excellent

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