Preventive methods of dental caries is a problem of most general practitioners yet: A survey of knowledge, attitude and practice

Document Type: Original Article(s)


1 Assistant Professor, Oral and Dental Diseases Research Center AND Kerman Social Determinants on Oral Health Research Center AND Department of Pediatric Dentistry, School of Dentistry, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

2 Professor, Oral and Dental Diseases Research Center AND Kerman Social Determinants on Oral Health Research Center AND Department of Pediatric Dentistry, School of Dentistry, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

3 Dentist, Private Practice, Kerman, Iran


BACKGROUND AND AIM: It is clear that education of parents and physicians regarding the importance of caries prevention will improve children’s dental health. Most of the times pediatric and general dentists are dependent on the knowledge base and attitude of pediatricians and family practice physicians for referral of infants and young children in need of preventive and restorative care. This study was conducted to assess the knowledge, attitudes and practice of general dental practitioners and pediatricians in relation to techniques used to prevent dental caries, including use of fissure sealants and fluoride therapy, in the south-east of Iran.METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was conducted between 399 general practitioners and pediatricians in the south-east of Iran. Data collected through a self-administered questionnaire consisted of demographic characteristics, questions that evaluating, knowledge, attitude and practice level regarding preventive methods of dental caries. Then, scores were given to each question and sum of the scores was categorized to weak, moderate and good. These scores were evaluated as follows: < 50%: weak, 50-75%: moderate, and > 75%: good. Data analyzed by SPSS using independent-sample t-test and linear regression models.RESULTS: In this study, 399 questionnaires were completed including 352 (88.2%) general practitioners and 47 (11.8%) pediatricians. The findings indicated that general practitioners and pediatricians had moderate knowledge (52.6%), good attitude (76.9%), and moderate practice (38.6%) regarding preventive methods of dental caries.CONCLUSION: Although general practitioners and pediatricians have more communication and closer relationship with target group of caries unfortunately, they had not desirable knowledge and practice regarding fluoride and fissure sealant therapy.


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