Musculoskeletal Injuries Causing Issues For Dentists

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Claims by dentists state that musculoskeletal injuries and psychiatric disorders are the biggest health issues for the profession, according to Dentists’ Provident.

Dentists’ Provident members are most likely to claim for musculoskeletal injuries. New statistics show that one in three claims made to these members are for these health issues, which include; general back pain, lumbar problems, sciatica, spondylitis and prolapsed intervertebral discs.

Musculoskeletal Disorders or MSDs are injuries and disorders that affect the human body’s movement or musculoskeletal system. Other common names for MSDs are “repetitive motion injury”, “repetitive stress injury” and “overuse injury”. Common MSDs include:

• Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
• Tendonitis
• Ligament Sprain
• Muscle/Tendon Strain
• Tension Neck Syndrome
• Thoracic Outlet Compression
• Rotator Cuff Tendonitis
• Epicondylitis
• Radial Tunnel Syndrome
• Digital Neuritis
• Trigger Finger / Thumb
• DeQuervain’s Syndrome
• Mechanical Back Syndrome
• Degenerative Disc Disease
• Ruptured / Herniated Disc,
• and many more.

Bryan Gross, head of claims and underwriting at Dentists’ Provident, said.

“It’s no surprise musculoskeletal issues are very common for dentists,”
“What is surprising is that people assume that musculoskeletal problems are an age related issue, but in reality our experience shows that they can occur at any time.”
“We regularly hear accounts of rapid onset back pain – one day you’re happily caring for patients, the next day the pain hits and you’re barely able to move.”
“Many musculoskeletal conditions can also be prevented with the right support and guidance from healthcare professionals.”

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Making up 15% of all claims paid by Dentists’ Provident last year, Psychiatric disorders are the second most common health problem. There were 1,286 claims overall by Dentists’ Provident members in 2015, totalling £4.2 million paid. The average claim paid was £3,250, with the largest individual claim reaching £62,400. Stress and depression is a huge problem in the dental community. Even a quick look on Google will show dentists in the top three of professions in which people are most likely to commit suicide. Dentists have said the industry is very demanding and very stressfull, with potentially unpleasant patients and running small businesses. The suicide rate of dentists is more than twice the rate of the general population and almost three times higher than that of other white collar workers.

Therefore it is key for dental professionals to seek help and advice when it might all be too much. Depression and physical stress is a serious ailment to gain from working and if you need help you should seek it out.

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