BMC Oral Health. 2023 Oct 29;23(1):815. doi: 10.1186/s12903-023-03502-0.
BACKGROUND: Using silver diamine fluoride (SDF) for caries management has raised dentists’ interests in Southeast Asia (SEA). However, information about the teaching of SDF in dental schools in SEA is limited. Therefore, this survey aimed to describe the extent to which SDF had been introduced into the education of undergraduate students in the dental schools in SEA.
METHODS: An online questionnaire survey was conducted on the duration, method, contents, and barriers regarding the teaching of SDF. Teachers in charge of undergraduate program in pediatric dentistry and those in community dentistry in all the 90 dental schools in SEA were approached and we required each department to reply once only. Descriptive statistics and Chi-square test were used to describe and assess the differences between the two departments in the teaching of SDF.
RESULTS: A total of 81 responses from the departments of 49 schools were received, giving a school-level response rate of 54% (49/90). SDF was taught in the undergraduate program in 86% (42/49) of the respondent schools, and 50% (21/42) of these schools had included SDF in the teaching for five or more years. Almost all (98%) of the departments taught SDF through lectures. Furthermore, 55% of them adopted SDF in clinical practice. Regarding the teaching content, the use of SDF for arresting cavitated caries lesion was the most commonly covered (82-97%), followed by for arresting early noncavitated lesions (69-82%), for preventing new caries development (66-79%) and for treating dental hypersensitivity (77%). There were variations in the post-treatment instruction taught. For the departments not teaching SDF, the most common reason (10/19, 53%) was that SDF was not available.
CONCLUSION: SDF is covered in the undergraduate program in most of the dental schools in SEA. The use of SDF to arrest cavitated caries lesions in primary teeth is usually taught. However, other applications of SDF, such as for prevention of caries and treatment of dental hypersensitivity, are less commonly mentioned in the teaching.