Attorney Esequiel Solorio is a certified specialist in workers’ compensation law as certified by The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.

Workplace safety in the dental office

On Behalf of | Feb 12, 2024 | workers' compensation

Dentists and dental assistants play a key role in maintaining oral health. However, their work environments can involve certain hazards.

Dental professionals should review common job-related risks to develop a better understanding of this issue.

Infectious diseases and chemicals

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says that dental professionals face various workplace hazards, including bloodborne pathogens and dangerous chemicals. Dental workers are at risk of exposure to diseases such as hepatitis B and HIV. This results from close contact with patients. As a result, infection control practices are necessary. This includes using gloves, masks and protective eyewear.

Dental professionals frequently handle various chemicals such as disinfectants, impression materials and dental amalgam. Prolonged exposure to these substances can lead to respiratory issues, skin irritation or allergic reactions. To minimize these risks, proper ventilation systems should be in place. This can help ensure adequate air circulation. Additionally, dental staff should receive training on handling and storing chemicals.

Musculoskeletal injuries

Dentistry involves repetitive movements and prolonged periods of standing. This can lead to musculoskeletal injuries. For example, back pain, neck strain and carpal tunnel syndrome. To prevent these injuries, dental professionals should maintain good posture and take regular breaks. Workplace wellness programs that focus on exercise and stretching can also contribute to the well-being of dental professionals.

Dentists and dental assistants face specific workplace hazards that necessitate proactive measures to ensure safety. Dental professionals and employers should focus on mitigating these hazards to promote the well-being of those who provide vital oral healthcare services.