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Online ISSN 1827-174X
Abou-Atme Y. S. 1, Melis M. 2, Zawawi K. H. 3, Cottogno L. 4
1 Private Practice, Rabigh, Saudi Arabia
2 Private Practice, Cagliari, Italy
3 Division of Orthodontics, Faculty of Dentistry King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
4 Private Practice, Cagliari, Italy
Aim. The aim of this epidemiologic study was to evaluate the intensity and variation of temporomandibular disorders and other musculoskeletal symptoms in a population of dental students during the five years of Dental School.
Methods. A 0-to-3 numeric scale questionnaire (0=absence of the symptom, 1=mild intensity, 2=moderate intensity, 3=severe intensity) was submitted to all the students enrolled in the first year of the Dental School at the University of Saint Joseph (Beirut, Lebanon). The same questionnaire was filled out by the same students every year until they reached the fifth (last) year.
Results. Temporomandibular disorders and musculoskeletal symptoms were generally of mild intensity and fluctuating in time. No significant differences were found among years in the intensity of earache, headache, face pain, arm symptoms, neck pain, and toothache. Ear stuffiness decreased from the first to the third and fifth year. Temporomandibular joint pain, temporomandibular joint sounds, upper back pain, and lower back pain showed a similar trend generally increasing from the first and second years to the third year, and then decreasing until the fourth and fifth years.
Conclusion. A higher risk of developing such symptoms associated with dental work in the laboratory can be hypothesized in case of improper ergonomics.