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CE Showcase Personal Wellbeing

CE Showcase ASM 2017: Demystifying Pain Among Women in Dentistry: Essential Ergonomic and Wellness Guidelines

I learned much about ergonomic problems experienced by female dentists from Dr. Bethany Valachi, author of Practice Dentistry Pain-Free and clinical instructor of ergonomics at Oregon Health & Science University School of Dentistry. She kindly offered few slides from her session at ASM 2017 and it was a pleasure to meet her.

Chiraz Guessaier, CDA Oasis Manager


  • Female dental professionals experience a higher prevalence and severity of occupational pain than their male counterparts, with the most problematic areas being the neck and shoulder followed closely by hand/ wrist pain.
  • This research-based course for women dental professionals bridges the gap between dental ergonomics and work-related pain so you can work more comfortably, increase productivity and extend your career.
  • Through lecture, demonstration and participation, women dental professionals will learn the unique muscle imbalances to which they are prone, and how these can be improved through proper posture, positioning, movement, equipment selection, adjustment and operatory layout.
  • The sesion covers how to select loupes which will improve your health – not make it worse!
  • Female dental professionals will learn why they require specific exercise guidelines to avoid injury.
  • The audience will walk away with evidence-based techniques they can apply immediately in the operatory and at home.

Learning Objectives

  • Implement gender-specific ergonomic guidelines to properly select and adjust delivery systems, stools and chairs depending on operator size
  • Identify how muscle imbalances can cause neck, upper back and shoulder pain among female dental professionals and corrective exercise
  • Identify and implement interventions for MSDs that are common among female dental professionals: thumb, hand, neck, shoulder and hip pain

Dr. Valachi’s session runs on May 4th 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

Visit Dr. Valachi’s website for more information on the topic. 




  1. Lesia Waschuk April 7, 2017

    How interesting!

  2. Dr. Judy Flecknell April 7, 2017

    This is a very interesting topic! Women in dentistry need to be aware of the physical differences we have that can lead to pain. More importantly, how we can manage or prevent pain while practicing is critical. Many of us practiced in pain for years without knowing the root cause…


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