Indian Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine   Official publication of Indian Association of  0ccupational  Health  
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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 35-39

Dental technicians' pneumoconiosis; illness behind a healthy smile – case series of a reference center in Turkey

Department of Occupational Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Dokuz Eylul University, İzmir, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Nur Şafak Alici
Department of Occupational Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Dokuz Eylul University, İzmir
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijoem.IJOEM_41_18

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Background: Dental laboratories include many hazards and risks. Dental technicians working in an unfavorable work environment in Turkey and other parts of the world may develop pneumoconiosis as a result of exposure to dust, depending on exposure time. In this study, we aimed to investigate the clinical and laboratory findings of dental technicians. Materials and Methods: The study consists of a case series. Between 2013 and 2016, a total of 70 who were working as a dental technician and referred to our clinic with suspicion of occupational disease were evaluated. Comprehensive work-history, physical examination complaints, functional status, chest X-ray, and high-resolution computed lung tomography (HRCT) findings were evaluated. Results: In all, 46 (65.7%) of the 70 dental technicians were diagnosed with pneumoconiosis. About 45 (97.8%) subjects were male and 1 (2.2%) was female. The mean age of starting to work was 15.89 ± 2.79 (11-23) years. The mix dust exposure time was 176.13 ± 73.97 (18-384) months. Small round opacities were most common finding. In 16 patients, high profusion being 2/3 and above were identified, and large opacity was detected in 11 patients. The radiological profusion had a weak negative correlation with FEV 1 and FVC (correlation coefficient − 0.18, P = 0.210 and − 0.058, P = 0704) and moderate negative correlation between radiological profusion and FEV1/FVC (correlation coefficient − 0.377, P = 0.010). In addition, no correlation was observed between the age at start of work and the duration of exposure. Conclusion: The presence of pneumoconiosis continues in dental technicians in Turkey, especially because there is an early childhood apprenticeship culture and almost all workers in this period have the history of sandblasting.


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