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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 10  |  Page : 1365-1371

Dentists' knowledge of chronic orofacial pain

1 Department of Oral Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, King Saud University, College of Dentistry, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Ministry of Health, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Periodontics and Community Dentistry, College of Dentistry, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
4 Department of Oral Diagnostic Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, Faculty of Dentistry, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. E M Hadlaq
Department of Oral Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, King Saud University, College of Dentistry, P.O. Box 60169, Riyadh 11545
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/njcp.njcp_110_19

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Objective: Orofacial pain (OFP) is a unique group of dental conditions with focus on chronic nonodontogenic pain affecting mouth, jaws, and face. The aim of this study is to investigate the knowledge of dentists in Saudi Arabia toward OFP assessment. Materials and Methods: An English language questionnaire containing 20 close-ended questions was used to capture data. The questionnaire included diagnostic criteria and clinical symptoms and signs of various OFP conditions. It was distributed to general dental practitioners (GDP) and dental specialists in four major provinces in Saudi Arabia. Results: A total of 318 questionnaires were completed by 163 males and 155 females. Most participants were GDPs (193/318) and the remaining were specialists from different dental specialties. A majority of participants were not able to diagnose neuropathic OFP or neurovascular/vascular OFP conditions (33% and 28.6%, respectively). On the other hand, only 40.3% were confident enough to diagnose different types of temporomandibular disorders. The results also showed that graduates from non-Saudi programs had significantly higher self and knowledge assessment score (59.8% and 43.4%, respectively) compared with graduates from Saudi programs (39.9% and 22.6%, respectively). The dental specialists had higher self-assessment scores compared with GDPs (48% vs. 43.7%). Overall, there was a weak positive correlation between self-assessment and knowledge assessment (20.2%). Conclusion: This study demonstrates a higher OFP knowledge and confidence for dental specialists compared with GDPs. However, this difference does not necessarily translate into more competencies in clinical practice. Therefore, the implementation of OFP courses in dental schools' curricula may benefit future dentists and improve patients' care.

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