Dental students’ knowledge and perceptions of non-invasive dental caries management
Afsaneh Pakdaman,* RW Evans, E Howe.
*Community Oral Health, School of Dentistry, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Background: An evidence-based, risk-specific, and non-invasive modality for caries management was implemented in the University of Sydney dentistry curriculum. This study reviews its impact on student learning outcomes and their perceptions of the efficacy of a risk-based caries management.
Methods: One hundred and nine Year 3 and Year 4 students were invited to complete a questionnaire to assess their understanding of the protocols and their perceptions of both the education process and value of the non-invasive treatment modality.
Results: A response rate of 93% Year 3 and 46% Year 4 students was obtained. They correctly identified high and low risk cases but Year 3 students were inclined to misclassify medium risk cases. Most understood correctly that enamel lesions should be arrested and remineralized but were often more radical in dealing with dentine lesions. Students who believed the protocols were useful and who spent more time on preventive care were less likely to restore enamel and dentine lesions.
Conclusions: A modest level of knowledge concerning application of the non-invasive caries management system to paperbased clinical case studies was demonstrated. Protocol misinterpretation may reflect inconsistent instruction by some clinical tutors. It is hoped that the promulgation of evidence-based dentistry will overcome these barriers in future.
Australian Dental Journal 2010; 55: 28–36