Knowledge and awareness regarding various dental specialties among the medical fraternity: A cross-sectional study

Prashanth Shenoy, Al faleela fauzal, Rachana V Prabhu, Laxmikanth Chatra, Veena K.M, Prathima Shetty and Saquib khan

Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Yenepoya Dental College and Hospital, Yenepoya deemed to be University, Mangalore (575018), Karnataka, India.
Research Article
World Journal of Advanced Research and Reviews, 2024, 22(03), 645–652
Article DOI: 10.30574/wjarr.2024.22.3.1713
Publication history: 
Received on 23 April 2024; revised on 04 June 2024; accepted on 07 June 2024
Background: Integration between medical and dental care is crucial but often lacking in many healthcare systems. Awareness and knowledge about dental specializations among the medical fraternity are essential for proper referral and treatment of oral conditions, which often have systemic implications. This study aims to assess the knowledge and awareness of various dental specialties and conditions among the medical fraternity in a medical college setting
Methodology: A cross-sectional questionnaire survey was conducted at Yenepoya Medical College and Hospital, Mangalore, with ethical clearance. A sample of 85 participants, including interns, postgraduates, and faculty, was randomly selected. A validated, close-ended questionnaire with two sections assessed basic knowledge of dental courses and awareness of dental specialties related to specific oral conditions. Data were analyzed using frequency distribution, percentages, and Pearson's Chi-square test.
Results: All 85 participants responded (100% response rate). Faculty showed the highest correct response rates regarding dental specialties, followed by postgraduates and interns. Significant gaps in knowledge were observed, particularly among interns and postgraduates, in identifying appropriate dental specialties for various oral conditions. Chi-square analysis revealed significant differences in knowledge levels across the participant groups (p < 0.05).
Discussion: The study highlights a substantial lack of awareness and understanding of dental specialties among medical interns and postgraduates compared to faculty members. This gap may hinder proper referral practices and patient care, emphasizing the need for targeted educational interventions.
Conclusion: There is a need to enhance the knowledge of dental specialties among medical professionals, particularly interns and postgraduates. Integrating dental education into the medical curriculum at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels could bridge this knowledge gap, ultimately improving patient care and interdisciplinary collaboration in healthcare.
Dental Specialties; Medical Fraternity; Awareness; Knowledge; Oral Health; Referral Practices; Interdisciplinary Integration.
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