Self-reported differences between oral health attitudes of pre-clinical and clinical students at a dental teaching institute in Saudi Arabia

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Abstract

Objective: To compare the attitudes of preclinical and clinical dental students toward their own oral health using the Hiroshima University-Dental Behavioral Inventory (HU-DBI). Methods: The English-language version of the 20-item HU-DBI was distributed to all preclinical and clinical students at the College of Dentistry, University of Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Dichotomized (agree/disagree) responses to 12 HU-DBI items were used in this study, with a maximum possible score of 12. Responses to the remaining eight statements reflected general oral health attitudes and were excluded from the analysis. Data were analyzed statistically. Results: The overall response rate was 72.2% (preclinical, 72.5%; clinical, 72%). The mean HU-DBI score was significantly higher among clinical than among preclinical dental students (7 vs. 5.8; P<. 0.05). Higher proportions of preclinical than clinical students did not worry about visiting the dentist but postponed dental visits until they experienced toothache. Furthermore, more preclinical than clinical students reported that their gums bled upon brushing, used a child-sized toothbrush, had observed white, sticky deposits on their teeth, and used strong strokes for toothbrushing. More clinical than preclinical students reported that they did not feel that the condition of their teeth was worsening despite brushing, worried about the color of their teeth, brushed each of their teeth carefully, and checked their teeth in the mirror after brushing. Conclusions: Dental health awareness programs should be implemented and information about positive oral health attitudes should be provided to the students at an initial stage of dental training. © 2013.

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Alam Moheet, I., & Farooq, I. (2013). Self-reported differences between oral health attitudes of pre-clinical and clinical students at a dental teaching institute in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Dental Journal, 25(4), 149–152. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sdentj.2013.07.001

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