OBJECTIVE: Dental hygienists (DHs) are professionals responsible for oral health. They deal with professional oral hygiene, counselling, and screening patients for oral health, as well as preventing and treating oral diseases. However, DH responsibilities and duties may vary worldwide, characterising changeable occupational exposure scenarios and making it difficult to achieve a suitable evaluation of workplace risks, particularly regarding chemical exposure. Therefore, the aim of the present work was to provide a comprehensive overview on the current knowledge on DH chemical risks.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: According to the PRISMA guidelines, a systematic review of PubMed, Scopus, and Isi Web of Knowledge databases was performed to retrieve all articles assessing DH occupational chemical exposures.
RESULTS: Fragmented data are currently available on DH chemical risk, due to the limited number of studies on the topic and few DHs enrolled, as well as their frequent assimilation to other oral healthcare professionals. The majority of the retrieved investigations focused on possible hypersensitivity reactions caused by natural rubber latex exposure, but not on potential risks derived from other currently employed substances or innovative wide-spreading compounds.
CONCLUSIONS: Future research should be focused on assessing DH chemical risks according to a more comprehensive and toxicologically standardised approach to achieve an appropriate awareness among the DH workforce concerning the possibility for hazardous exposure and adverse health effects. Overall, this may lead to the adoption/implementation of adequate preventive measures to protect the health and safety of these oral healthcare professionals.
To cite this article
C. Lajolo, V. Leso, G. Gioco, R. Patini, M. Fedele, M. Giuliani, I. Iavicoli
Chemical hazard for dental hygienists: a systematic review
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Vol. 23 - N. 18