Health and safety in the dental workplace

There is a misconception that dentistry is a relatively safe profession. However, in a study conducted in the United States, dentists and dental hygienists were identified as having an "occupation that adversely affects health." The study highlighted exposure to radiation, exposure to disease and infections, and time spent working in a sitting position as the most prominent negative health effects of the oral health profession. The awareness of these occupational risks and how to manage them remains low.

Oral health professionals face challenges in the workplace

The 2015 Dentist Well-Being Survey Report revealed that most dentists (67%) say they have a moderate level of stress at work. Stress in the dental practice can arise from several factors, including heavy workloads, running late, and treating anxious patients. The workplace has an impact on mental health and well-being, and dental clinics are no exception. Improved office design can help reduce practitioner stress and improve well-being. 
The Health and Safety in the Dental Workplace project, launched in 2019, seeks to respond to these challenges with practical tools and a global communication campaign to help improve health and safety for the oral healthcare team at work.

Health and Safety in the workplace

Goal 1

Increase global awareness of health and safety in the dental workplace to a defined target audience

Goal 2

To publish guidelines for oral health clinicians and staff on maintaining a safe and healthy working environment and encouraging optimal teamwork

Goal 3

To publish a quick reference guide for clinicians on how to adopt the correct posture while working to prevent musculoskeletal disorders

The Health and Safety in the Dental Workplace project is supported by :

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Ergonomics and posture guidelines for oral health professionals
Ergonomics and posture guidelines for oral health professionals

These guidelines highlight the importance of ergonomics in the dental workplace. They provide oral health professionals with guidance on how to strike a balance between maintaining a good posture and providing efficient treatment.