Caries severity in relation to oral health knowledge and behavior of third and fifth year dental students / University of Baghdad (A comparative study)


Background: The knowledge of dental students is important because these individuals are the future dental healthproviders. The purpose of the present study was to explore the severity of dental caries in relation to oral healthknowledge and behavior between two different grades of undergraduate dental students in the College of Dentistry/ University of Baghdad.Materials and methods: One hundred dental students were included in this study (50 third years and 50 fifth yearstudents). A questionnaire was distributed among them to evaluate their oral health knowledge and behavior.Dental students were examined for recording of dental caries severity.Results: Data analysis revealed that third year dental students had higher mean of decayed surfaces (DS) andmissing surfaces (MS), compared to the other group, the difference was statistically highly significant (P<0.01) for DSand significant for MS (P<0.05), while fifth year dental students were found to have higher mean value of filledsurfaces (FS) and the difference was highly Significant (P<0.01). However, higher DMFS value was recorded for finalyear students without any significant difference. Oral health knowledge was better for fifth grade and the differencewas highly significant (p<0.01) except for the question about complete removal of dental plaque by brushing only,the difference was significant (p<0.05) .Oral health behavior of third grade students was at lower level, the differencewas highly significant (P<0.01) except for the questions about frequency of brushing and sweet eating, it wassignificant (p<0.05) and it was not significant difference regarding use of siwak.Conclusion: The findings of this study highlights that increase the theoretical education of dental students in additionto clinical experience will improve their oral health knowledge and behavior, which in turn affect positively the oralhygiene towards health promotion and prevention of oral diseases