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Awareness of undergraduate dental students, interns, and freshly graduated dentists about oral manifestation associated with COVID-19

BMC Oral Health. 2023 Dec 9;23(1):990. doi: 10.1186/s12903-023-03666-9.


OBJECTIVE: There is growing evidence supporting the presence of oral manifestations associated with COVID-19. The study investigates the knowledge of dental undergraduates and recently graduated dentists concerning oral presentations related to COVID-19.

METHODS: A cross-sectional descriptive study in Saudi Arabia comprised 305 individuals, including undergraduate dental students, interns, and freshly graduated dentists. Data were collected using a questionnaire disseminated to approximately 500 subjects via WhatsApp groups and other applications. The questionnaire was tested in a pilot study for validity, edited, and validated by 2 supervisors at the College of Dentistry, Qassim University, Buraydah, Saudi Arabia. The questionnaire consisted of questions regarding sociodemographic attributes, the level of expertise of dental practitioners, and their knowledge and perspectives regarding COVID-19 and the implementation of oral lesions interrelated to it. The data was subjected to analysis through the utilization of descriptive statistics and chi-square tests, employing the statistical software SPSS (version 24).

RESULTS: About 43.9% of subjects stated that COVID-19 causes oral symptoms. Respondents most frequently reported COVID-19-related dry mouth. Oral ulcers, Candida infection, Hyperpigmentation, tongue coating, atrophy, Petechiae, Herpes, white lesions, Gingivitis, and Periodontitis are further symptoms. COVID-19’s oral manifestation was unknown to 41.0% of subjects, and 37.7% of respondents lacked knowledge regarding the most impacted locations of oral manifestations. Oral signs and COVID-19 symptoms are debated and significantly associated with higher educational levels.

CONCLUSION: The dental students and freshly graduated dentists in this study have proper knowledge of COVID-19 and its symptoms. Also, most dental students and newly graduated dentists recognize the potential correlation between COVID-19 and oral manifestations with an average to excellent knowledge of the types and sites commonly affected. The level of awareness was associated with higher educational levels.

PMID:38071326 | DOI:10.1186/s12903-023-03666-9

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