Ergonomics & Wellness In Dentistry: Overcoming And Preventing Occupational Chronic Pain & Stress In The Clinic - Melbourne

Ergonomics & Wellness In Dentistry: Overcoming And Preventing Occupational Chronic Pain & Stress In The Clinic - Melbourne
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A Two Day Practical Workshop for Dental Professionals

This two day training program is a practical “User Guide” for work postures, teaching Fundamental Inner Ergonomics every dental practitioner needs to know. You will learn the steps to recovery and prevention of occupational chronic pain in the clinic. 

Inner Ergonomics & Wellbeing in Dentistry

Most dental schools don’t train students how to bend over patients without compromising their neck, back and shoulders. Consequently, most clinicians bend and twist in harmful ways for long periods.

Poor work postures - prolonged forward and downwardly directed, unilaterally collapsed - lead to musculoskeletal disorders. Many practitioners have become accustomed to chronic pain and discomfort, believing it is the price to be paid for being a dental professional.

Most clinicians were not trained how to deal with the fearful human beings attached to the teeth they treat, who often cover up their fear and anxiety with a prickly outer mask, which can be taken personally and interpreted as hostility and lack of appreciation. This can lead to high levels of stress and burn out.

Worldwide research shows an alarming incidence of musculoskeletal disorders and stress in the dental profession. 

Chronic pain and stress impact on career longevity, productivity and quality of life, forcing many practitioners to reduce work hours and to contemplate a career change or early retirement. 

How Can You Reduce the Risk of Occupational Chronic Pain?

There are fundamental biomechanical design principles governing movement and posture; some joints are designed for prolonged bending, while others are not. Unfortunately we are not provided with a “User Guide” at birth.

Dental ergonomic research and design have focused on the equipment and surgery layout, the Outer Ergonomics, overlooking the importance of the operator’s efficiency in posture and movement, the Inner Ergonomics.


Fundamental Inner Ergonomics

  • Cumulative Trauma in the clinic and daily life - why there is an alarming incidence of occupational pain
  • The importance of correct magnification loupes
  • Inner Ergonomics 101 - what dental practitioners need to know about their bio-mechanical design
  • Postural Awareness - recognition of harmful postural habits
  • Habit change
    • the power of habit
    • how to change harmful postural habits in the clinic 
    • and daily life
  • Stress reduction 
    • early recognition of stress signs 
    • dealing with time pressure
    • Calming techniques for patients and clinicians’ self-care
  • Steps to optimal musculoskeletal health & wellness

Practical Application of Inner Ergonomic Principles

Practical demonstrations in a clinical setting, individual kinesthetic guidance and practice of applied Inner Ergonomics in simulated treatment on a manikin, with special focus on:

  1. Gaining access for treatment by organizing yourself from the inside out
  2. Various treatment procedures with instruments you are invited to bring, including forceps
  3. Reducing wrist, arm and shoulder strain during extractions, in sitting and standing
  4. Postural awareness during treatment - learning to become mindful of yourself in daily life and in the clinic
  5. Changing harmful habitual work postures

Participants are invited to bring their magnification loupes to evaluated from an ergonomic perspective

Restoration & Self-Care with Active Rest

Demonstration and experiential training in how to decompress the spine and release tight muscles and joints at work and home

Providers Terms

Cancellation Policy

  • Cancellations must be made in writing to [email protected]
  • 50% of the registration will be refunded if cancellation is made more than 21 days prior to the course.
  • In case of cancellation within 7 days of the course or failure to attend, fee will not be refunded.

Dentists (incl.GST)$1,362Closed
Dental Hygienists & Oral Health Therapists (incl.GST)$1,214Closed


Dentists (incl.GST)ClosedDental Hygienists & Oral Health Therapists (incl.GST)Closed
Contact Hours:

10.0 hrs


Wed, 16 November 2022

Start Time:

10:00 AM


2 Days


Lecture and Hands-on




a-dec Melbourne Showroom

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Google map

Suite 1/260 Auburn Rd, Hawthorn VIC 3122, Australia,
Melbourne, Victoria,
Australia, 3122

Optimum Dental Posture


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Dr Anikó Ball

B.D.Sc.(Melb), Clin.Dip.Hyp. Adv. Dip. Alexander Studies Certified Alexander Teacher

A graduate of Melbourne University, Anikó has practised in general dentistry, dental hypnosis, periodontics and dental sleep medicine.

She suffered frequent pain and discomfort in her neck, back and shoulder for over thirty years. Doctors and physical therapists offered short-term symptom relief without identifying her symptoms as work related.

Anikó was forced to contemplate early retirement as her condition worsened. She was considered a “hopeless case”, risky surgery and long-term anti-inflammatory medication seemed her only options. 

Fortunately she encountered the Inner Ergonomic Principles of the Alexander Technique. Once she learned about biomechanical design she recognized her harmful posture and movement habits, applied the Inner Ergonomic Principles in all activities, especially in the dental surgery, and got her life back. These days retirement is the furthest thing on her mind.

With the intention of contributing the Inner Ergonomic Principles of the Alexander Technique to the dental profession, Anikó gained an Advanced Diploma of the Alexander Studies after completing a 1600 hour training course at the Melbourne Alexander School. She is a Certified Alexander Teacher and a member of the Australian Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique.

Anikó founded Optimum Dental Posture to promote recovery and prevention of work related injuries in the dental profession.

She is currently working on a research project conducted at Melbourne University Dental School, "Improving oral health students' physical and mental wellbeing", to show the benefits of "Fundamental Inner Ergonomics" training. Anikó's vision is the inclusion of such a training program at the undergraduate level in all dental schools as a preventive measure to reduce the risk of occupational musculoskeletal disorders.

Anikó is also conducting research into the incidence of musculoskeletal disorders in dentistry. To participate in the Pain & Discomfort Survey for Dental Professionals visit the Optimum Dental Posture page.

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