The Impact of the Dental Profession on the Health Status of a Sample of Iraqi Dentists

Jamal N. Ahmed, Nada A. Mousa


Background Dental practitioners as other healthcare workers confront an identified risk of occupational complications. This profession
has been practiced in Iraq for decades. Baghdad college of dentistry was established in the middle of the past century and
graduated a significant number of dentists. Nearly ten thousands dentists have been registered in the Iraqi dental association,
therefore the purpose of this study was to identify the occupational risks and the impact of the dental profession on the health of
a sample of Iraqi dentists.
Material and method Information was obtained using a self-report questionnaire form designed for this purpose and distributed
to dentists who agreed to take part in this survey. The respondents for this study included all dentists working in the government
institutions in Baghdad (the capital) and the other provinces of Iraq and private practices as well. The data were collected and
analyzed to explore the frequency of the occupational hazards (diseases) by the authors.
Results The total number of the dentists responded to the survey were (284) which represent 81% of the respondent. The male
to female ratio 1.39:1. Their age ranged between 23 - 64 years and the mean was 37.1 with SD± 9.6. The average weekly working
days was (5), with average working hours of (37.5). Dentistry was considered by 92.7 % as a stressful occupation with 64 % was
classified it moderate level. The frequency of the musculoskeletal problems was 54.9 % followed by joint 50.51%, vision 45.7%.
cardiovascular 23.23%, allergy 17.6%, neural symptoms related to the practice 17.34 %.and 9.8% infections transmitted through
the occupation.
Conclusion The majority of dentists feel that dentistry is a stressful profession. The occupation related problems were mainly
noticed as musculoskeletal followed by joint, visual, cardiovascular, neural, allergy and infectious diseases respectively. Identifying
and focusing on the risks of the occupation in the Iraqi dental colleges curriculums and the Iraqi dental association continuing education
programs for the graduated dentists is strongly recommended.


Dental profession; occupational hazards; dental health status

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