Hazards in modern dentistry

It is not just one-way pain!

A lot of people don’t like going to the dentist, it usually involves paying quite a lot of money for pain! However, it is not just one-way, there are hazards in modern dentistry and dentists are prone to many health problems. They often spend a considerable portion of their career in pain and discomfort.

The obvious occupational hazards are exposure to radiation, exposure to dangerous substances & sharps injuries. In addition, dentists also suffer from musculoskeletal problems & stress.

Musculoskeletal problems

Musculoskeletal problems are prevalent among dental professionals with problems beginning as early on as dental school.

The problems arise from the nature of the job: focusing on fine procedures which require a close visual field and sustained posture for long periods of time.

Repetitive work, the need to maintain steady hands, and spending most of the day with an awkward posture can lead to musculoskeletal pain in various sites. The lower back is commonly affected, as well as the upper back, shoulders and neck.


One of the key hazards in modern dentistry is stress. Recent studies show that dentists are at higher risk of stress-related incidences such as suicide, cardiovascular disease and mental health issues.

Potential reasons include work confinement, working with anxious patients, time pressures, complex treatment and personality traits within dentists themselves (the need for perfection, attention to detail, high expectations of themselves and others).


Education of dentists in Poland is high and regulation is strict. To become a qualified dentist in Poland, students must first undergo five years of training at university. After completing their five-year course, graduates begin a 12-month work experience program. After this, they can then think about specialising – so the stress begins early!


The history of dentistry is fascinating. During the time of pre-agricultural societies, tooth decay was rare. The advent of farming 10,000 years ago correlated with an increase in tooth decay (cavities).

An infected tooth from Italy partially cleaned with flint tools, between 13,820 and 14,160 years old, represents the oldest known example of preventative dentistry. A 2017 study also suggests that 130,000 years ago the Neanderthals already used rudimentary dentistry tools.