INSTRUCTIONS FOR DENTAL TECHNICIANS
Dental Technicians come into contact with or produce highly reactive substances during processing. Dust is generated by grinding, such as when the various dental materials are finished.
The finer this dust is, the deeper it can penetrate into the lungs. Investment materials are also potentially hazardous since the quartz they contain is released in the form of extremely fine dust during processing (tiny quartz particles in the investment material powder) or when deflasking cast objects (grinding dust). In other work steps, too, potentially toxic and/or allergic contamination is possible. Polishing compounds, for example, may also lead to undesired secondary reactions and should be meticulously removed from restorations. Some of these compounds display a strong cytotoxicity. Thus, undesired reactions may occur in the oral cavity of the patient or in the dental technician.
Artists at risk
N Torbica, S Krstev
“Along with introduction of new dental materials, there is an evergrowing need for occupational health practitioners to be aware of the work processes in this occupation, to recognise possible hazards, and to implement appropriate preventive measures to protect the workers’ health.” ➔
“Silicosis is a debilitating, sometimes fatal, yet preventable occupational lung disease caused by inhaling respirable crystalline silica dust.” ➔
and take action
“A Hazard Information Bulletin issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) explains the problem of beryllium exposure in dental laboratories. Dental laboratory technicians are at risk for developing chronic beryllium disease or berylliosis if they inhale dust containing beryllium when working on dental crowns and bridges and partial denture frameworks made from alloys that include the material.” ➔
To reduce harmful contamination, consideration should be given to several factors:
- Good ventilation and suction extraction at the workplace.
- Work with mouth protection and gloves
- Seal any vessels containing chemicals, solvents, etc. after use so as to avoid evaporation of the contents.
- Comply with the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Ensure proper disposal of chemicals, also for ecological reasons.