Dental professionals are in the business of keeping people healthy and pain free. Working long hours in impossibly small spaces to perform (seemingly) impossibly complex procedures is essential to ensure the well being of patients. It is an admirable profession filled with dedicated persons willing to train for and practice dentistry.
Unfortunately, dental professionals are often suffering in pain themselves. They sacrifice their own health for the health of others. In fact, pain is so prevalent in dentistry, it fuels academic research and inspires the creation of new gadgets and techniques designed to eliminate it. With all of this knowledge and ergonomic advantage available, it would seem that the pain and physical problems associated with the delivery of dental care would be all but eliminated. One would assume there would no longer be concerns of dental practitioners retiring early, overly self medicating, or suffering from depression because of musculoskeletal dysfunction. And yet, here I am……a physical therapist planning an entire blog to address this very issue.
You may wonder why I care so much about dental practitioners and why I have started this blog. It is dentistry that led me to my own career choice. My family has practiced dentistry for over 3 decades. I saw how the physical toll of their practice affected their lives at home. During and for a short time after college, I worked as a dental assistant in a few offices. Even though I was much younger, I remember how long those hours could be and how awkward prolonged positioning often left me sore and hurting the next day. During my education as a physical therapist, I would remember those aches and pains. I looked forward to the day that I could possibly help others avoid them! So, here is the truth…. I have a soft spot for dental professionals as they are my family and my friends. That is why I care so much about helping this community.
Physical therapists are in the business of keeping people healthy and pain free too. I have dedicated years to researching musculoskeletal impairments or disorders. I am constantly searching for quality and easy to implement strategies available for dentists, assistants and hygienists. There is a lot of information out there. Not all of it is evidence based, beneficial or easy to implement. It is my most sincere desire that this blog is able to provide quality information as well as strategies that may help reduce pain and improve not only careers, but lives.
Be Healthy and Practice Safely!
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