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Open Access Research article

Knowledge about tooth avulsion and its management among dental assistants in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Hassan Suliman Halawany12*, Yousra Hussain AlJazairy23, Nawaf Sulaiman Alhussainan24, Nassr AlMaflehi12, Vimal Jacob2 and Nimmi Biju Abraham2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Periodontics and Community Dentistry, College of Dentistry, King Saud University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

2 Dental Caries Research Chair, College of Dentistry, King Saud University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

3 Department of Restorative Dentistry, College of Dentistry, King Saud University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

4 Dental Health Department, Prince Sultan Military Medical City, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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BMC Oral Health 2014, 14:46  doi:10.1186/1472-6831-14-46

Published: 6 May 2014

Abstract

Background

Studies evaluating dental assistants’ knowledge about tooth avulsion and its management are rare. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the level of knowledge about tooth avulsion and its management among dental assistants in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and to assess its relationship with their educational background.

Methods

A convenience sampling methodology was employed for sample selection. Over a period of four months starting in February, 2013, 691 pretested 17-item questionnaires were distributed. A total of 498 questionnaires were returned for an overall response rate of 72.1%. Six questions were related to knowledge about permanent tooth avulsion and one question was related to knowledge about primary tooth avulsion. Correct answers to these questions were assigned one point each, and based on this scoring system, an overall knowledge score was calculated. An analysis of covariance was used to test the association between the level of knowledge (total score) and the educational qualifications of the respondents (dental degree and others). A P-value of 0.05 was considered the threshold for statistical significance.

Results

The majority of the respondents (n = 387; 77.7%) were non-Saudis (377 were from the Philippines), and 79.1% (n = 306) of the Filipinos had a dental degree. The question about recommendations for an avulsed tooth that is dirty elicited the highest number of correct responses (n = 444; 89.2%), whereas the question about the best storage media elicited the lowest number of correct responses (n = 192; 38.6%). The overall mean score for knowledge about tooth avulsion was 6.27 ± 1.74. The mean knowledge score among the respondents with a dental degree was 6.63 ± 1.37, whereas that among the respondents with other qualifications was 5.71 ± 2.08.

Conclusions

The educational qualifications of the surveyed dental assistants were strongly correlated with the level of knowledge about tooth avulsion and its management.

Keywords:
Avulsion; Knowledge; Dental assistant