The effect of dental instruments design on grip strength

Vanessa Silva*, Inês Costa, Patrícia Fonseca, Pedro Monteiro, Joana Santos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Introduction: Dentist work requires comfort and visibility, which sometimes causes an incorrect, maladjusted, and static posture, affecting mostly the upper limbs. It is due to prolonged work that oral health professionals are more susceptible to developing musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) of the hand and wrist. This work involves excessive flexion positions of the wrist/hand, mechanical stress associated with instrument manipulation, and force applied during dental procedures. The propose of this study was to evaluate and analyze the variation of grip strength in dental students. We also pretend to evaluate the incidence of signs and symptoms of MSDs. Materials and Methods: A clinical dental procedure was simulated using instruments of different design on phantoms to evaluate the palmar grip. Grip strength was measured with a dynamometer. The Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire was conducted to assess the incidence of symptoms of MSDs. Results: The most prevalent symptoms in this population were neck, lower back, and shoulder pain. During the procedure, 43 participants found the ergonomic curette more comfortable. After scraping with the metallic curette, a lower palmar grip strength was observed. Women have a higher incidence of MSDs and lower grip strength. Conclusion: After the use of ergonomic periodontal curette to root scaling, participants presented higher mean grip force (290 ± 107 N) than after the use of metal handle periodontal curette (273 ± 105 N). Instruments with a larger diameter and lower weight are more ergonomic and require less grip force. Participants should transform and improve clinical habits to promote better working conditions and decrease MSDs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 10th Congress of the Portuguese Society of Biomechanics, CNB 2023
EditorsAna Martins Amaro, Luis Roseiro, Ana Lúcia Messias, Beatriz Gomes, Henrique Almeida, Maria António Castro, Maria Augusta Neto, Maria de Fátima Paulino, Vítor Maranha
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9783031477904
ISBN (Print)9783031477898
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventX CNB 2023 - 10th Congress of the Portuguese Society of Biomechanics - Centro de Artes e Espetáculos, Figueira da Foz, Portugal
Duration: 5 May 20236 May 2023

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Bioengineering
ISSN (Print)2195-271X
ISSN (Electronic)2195-2728


ConferenceX CNB 2023 - 10th Congress of the Portuguese Society of Biomechanics
CityFigueira da Foz


  • Dental student
  • Ergonomics
  • Grip force
  • Musculoskeletal disorders


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