Postural Assessment of Students Evaluating the Need of Ergonomic Seat in Dentistry

Postural Assessment of Students Evaluating the Need of Ergonomic Seat and Magnification in Dentistry

Published in the Journal of Indian Prosthodontic Society in 2014.

Objectives: The aim of this study is to make a foray into the hazards caused by inappropriate posture of dental students while working. It also aims at creating a cognizance about the related health implications among the dental fraternity at large, and to understand the significance of adopting an ergonomic posture since the beginning of the professional course.

Methods: A ‘between-subject experimental design’ was selected to obtain the scores from three different groups separately. Each group was assigned a different seat that enabled a proper comparison and determination of the most apt posture. This study was conducted on the II year BDS students. Selection was done by simple random sampling method (lottery method) where 90 students were selected out of 102. All the students were given the similar exercise (tooth preparation of lower first premolar), and the postures were compared in three different seats, namely; ‘Salli Saddle Chair’ (SSC), Conventional chair with back rest (CC1), and Conventional chair without back rest (CC2) with and without using the magnification system.

Results: The results suggested that there was a less postural risk with the Salli Saddle Chair with proper magnification used while there was a high risk in using conventional chairs with or without backrest and without the use of magnification. When the conventional  chairs were compared, it was seen that the back rest does not really make any difference in improving the posture (P > 0.05).

Conclusion: The students are at high risk to develop MSDs if they are not corrected and guided to use the right posture at right time. The students need to know the importance of right posture in the beginning of the professional course which will enable them to work in the ergonomic workplace within the prescribed ranges. Manufacturers are developing the ergonomically designed equipments to prevent the musculoskeletal injuries which would help the dentists to work without restrictions. The present study has reported that, the use of ergonomic saddle stool could support the lumber region and maintain the natural curvature of the lower back at the same time magnification could bring the clearer view near to the operator instead of operator hunching over to get the view.

You can read the whole study here