Health Professionals Oral Health Knowledge and Practice: Unleashing the Hidden Challenges

J Multidiscip Healthc. 2020 May 20;13:459-469. doi: 10.2147/JMDH.S254964. eCollection 2020.

Abstract

Objective: Dental disease is one of the major prevalent preventable public health challenges that resulted in a significant burden on children and adults. The aim of the current study was to identify oral health-related knowledge and practice among Bahir Dar community health care providers and the perceived barriers to oral health care services.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted. A self-administered, structured questionnaire was used for data collection, and SPSS version 20 was used for data analysis. A chi-square test was used to determine the association between study variables, and a P-value of less than 0.05 was considered to declare statistical significance.

Results: A total of 281 interviews were conducted. Doctors had the highest mean knowledge score value of 4.67 followed by dentists with a mean score of 4.5. The majority of the study participants (59.4%) reported that they use a toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste for brushing their teeth, and a statistically significant difference was observed between different types of health professionals. The majority of the study participants (80.1 and 70.8%) reported limited finances and lack of adequate health/dental insurance as a barrier to oral health care services, respectively.

Conclusion: Oral health-related knowledge of health professionals in Bahir Dar city is low. Oral health topics must be incorporated into the health care professionals training programs and continuing medical education. Health professionals should master basic oral health-related knowledge, and they should practice basic oral health care practices to become role models for their patients.

Keywords: dental care; health practice; health professionals; oral health; tooth brushing.

Grant support

The authors received no financial support for the research, authorship, or publication of this article.