BACKGROUND AND AIM: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is contagious by respiratory droplets and cloase contact of individuals, so dentists are at high risk of infection and have become possible carriers of the disease. For this reason, it is of great importance for public health that dentists have sufficient knowledge by increasing their awareness on this issue. This study aimed to evaluate the knowledge level of dentists about COVID-19 [severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2)] and to evaluate the factors affecting their knowledge, and also to investigate their attitudes while performing their profession during the pandemic according to their perception of COVID-19.
METHODS: 88 private practice dentists and 222 public dentists participated in this study. In order to prevent the spread of the disease, the individuals participating in the study were asked 17 questions consisting of three parts online.
RESULTS: Of the 310 participants, 187 (60.3%) were female and 123 (39.7%) were male. The mean age of the participantts was 29.2 ± 7.3 years. In terms of COVID-19 transmission, it was found that dentists who had more than
20 years of professional experience, had more knowledge about transmission routes (P < 0.05). It was also found that 46.4% of the dentists with 0-6 years of experience in sterilization preferred the pressurized steam sterilization method, and the same group used 41.5% alcohol and 34.3% sodium hypochlorite for disinfection (P < 0.01). More than half of the participants displayed a positive attitude towards the use of the current protective equipment.
CONCLUSION: The groups showed a similar attitude and awareness level in terms of the parameters evaluated in the study. However, in order to control the COVID-19 transmission and its process, dentists need to shape their perceptions and attitudes with accurate and up-to-date information.