Peripheral nerve dysfunction in practicing dental hygienists.

J. C. Conrad, J. B. Osborn, K. J. Conrad, T. C. Jetzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Hand-intensive repetitive procedures such as those performed by dental hygienists can lead to cumulative trauma disorders of the upper extremity. One such disorder is median nerve dysfunction leading to carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Vibrometry has been used in industrial settings as a method of early detection of sensory nerve impairment. This technique uses vibratory stimuli to assess the level of sensory perception in the fingertips. Using programmed frequency stimuli, 58 practicing dental hygienists were evaluated bilaterally for median nerve dysfunction. Results indicated that 15 (25.9%) of the dental hygienists reported the presence of CTS symptoms, while 7 (12.0%) tested positive for mild median nerve dysfunction. The findings suggest that vibrometry testing could aid in the early detection of CTS, thereby reducing its effects on clinical practice and facilitating early treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-387
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of dental hygiene : JDH / American Dental Hygienists" Association
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 1 1990

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