Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Dent Hyg. 2012 Fall;86(4):292-305. Epub 2012 Nov 7.

Maryland dental hygienists' knowledge, opinions and practices regarding dental caries prevention and early detection.

Author information

  • 1School of Dental Hygiene, Faculty of Dentistry, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this study was to assess Maryland dental hygienists' knowledge, practices and opinions regarding dental caries prevention and early detection.

METHODS:

A 30 item survey was mailed to 1,258 Maryland dental hygienists. Two follow-up mailings and email reminders were sent.

RESULTS:

The response rate was 43% (n=540). Nearly all respondents were female (98%), and 58% practiced in solo settings. Knowledge and certainty of knowledge were moderate: sealants are needed regardless of topical fluoride use (55% certain, 40% less certain), newly erupted permanent molars are the best candidates for sealants (54%, 36%) and professionally applied fluorides are desirable in areas without fluoridated water (55%, 36%). Fewer were certain that incipient lesions can be remineralized before cavitation (23%, 69%), and dilute, frequently administered fluorides are more effective in caries prevention than concentrated, less frequently administered fluorides (6%, 24%). Opinions regarding effectiveness of protocols for 2 age groups from 6 months to 6 years, the challenges of early childhood caries (ECC), prevention practices regarding sealant and topical fluoride applications varied widely. Eighty-nine percent reported routinely assessing dental caries risk factors of child patients and 90% were interested in continuing education courses. There were no significant differences between different types of practice settings, year of graduation, race/ethnicity or gender.

CONCLUSION:

Knowledge of recommended guidelines for fluoride and sealant application support clinical decision-making and self-care counseling. Misinformation and lack of understanding of current research and recommendations identify a need for educational interventions in undergraduate dental hygiene programs and through continuing education for practicing hygienists.

PMID:
23168104
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center