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J Dent Educ. 2011 Dec;75(12):1627-34.

Iranian dental students' knowledge of hepatitis B virus infection and its control practices.

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Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Research Center for Gastroenterology and Liver Disease, Tehran, Iran.


With more than two billion infected people, from whom 350 to 400 million suffer from chronic infection, hepatitis B virus (HBV) is still a major health problem worldwide. As dental treatment puts both dentists and patients at a higher risk of HBV infection, dentists can play an important role in preventing HBV transmission in dental settings. This study was performed to evaluate dental students' awareness and practice regarding HBV-related issues and to compare the results obtained from different academic years. One hundred and forty-two questionnaires consisting of questions on students' knowledge of HBV and preventive measures against this virus were completed by third- to sixth-year dental students of Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS), Tehran, Iran. Overall, a relatively good level of knowledge was observed amongst this population. However, students' answers to practice questions were less satisfying. It is noteworthy that in some cases students of higher academic years showed less awareness. This finding highlights the necessity of continued infection control education. TUMS students must complete an infection control workshop before they start their clinical education. The authors propose that such training at the beginning of each academic year would be worthwhile.

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