Using Dental Handpieces That Are Not Operating Optimally Could Result in the Development of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Using dental handpieces is a standard among today’s practices; however, if you elect to use handpieces in your facility that are not operating optimally, you put yourself and other members of your team at risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome. All dental handpieces should be properly maintained, at all times. If components of these devices are not working properly, it could result in many complications that may detrimentally impact your hand and wrist. Examples include increased vibrations, complications during use which may result in holding your hand at angles that are burdensome to the carpal tunnel in your wrist, and prolonged usage to get tasks completed. In this brief guide, we will provide you with an overview of carpal tunnel syndrome – an issue that you are very likely to experience if you do not get your dental handpieces inspected, maintained, and repaired when the need arises.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a cumulative type of trauma disorder. There are three different nerves within the hand – the medial nerve, the ulnar nerve, and the radial nerve. If you are working with dental handpieces that places a strain on any or all of these nerves, the nerve/nerves will become compressed. Carpal tunnel syndrome is considered to be the most common of nerve compressions affecting professionals in dentistry. While most common in women, this syndrome is becoming more prevalent in men practitioners. This is a type of peripheral neuropathy that is most often caused by the compression of the median nerve through the landmark in the wrist known as the “carpal tunnel”.
Tenosynovitis is Typically the Start of the Issue
Tenosynovitis is typically the first of the many complications that occur before carpal tunnel syndrome develops. This is inflammation involving the synovium that is located around the tendons. In most instances, this occurs when there is a lot of repetitive force of the fingers. This is especially true if the wrist is in a deviated-based position. This inflammation then compresses the median nerve and the blood supply associated with the nerve. Most dental practitioners that develop carpal tunnel syndrome usually find that they first suffered from tenosynovitis. Dental handpieces that are not properly maintained and/or repaired often result in the deviated position of the wrist and unnatural movements and repetitions of the hand. This, in turn, could lead to the development of the tenosynovitis. Once this develops, continued use of faulty dental handpieces could result in the development of carpal tunnel syndrome.
If, as a dental practitioner, you develop carpal tunnel syndrome, you are going to experience a multitude of complications while attempting to perform your work. This is why it is imperative that you make certain that all of your dental handpieces are performing optimally – at ALL times.