Dental knowledge and behavior among technical medical institute students in Baghdad governorate


Background: Oral health knowledge is important for promotion and maintenance of oral health. This study aims tofind out the difference in oral health knowledge and behavior of medical and dental students in technical medicalinstitute in Baghdad governorate.Materials and Methods: A questionnaire survey was carried on 202 Iraqi students in technical medical institute of BabAl-Muadam quadrant in Baghdad governorate (92 dental students and 110 medical students). Students were invitedto complete a set of questionnaires on dental knowledge and behaviors that are related to oral hygiene and dentalvisits.Results: Highly significant differences were shown between medical and dental students related to dentalknowledge, dental students were found to have more dental knowledge than medical students. Concerning thetypical method for caries prevention, 90.2% of dental students compared to 35.5% of medical one were aware thatbrushing regularly, minimizing sweets, visiting the dentist and the use of fluoride are all effective means of avoidingcaries. For oral hygiene behavior, dental students were practicing twice daily tooth brushing, flossing and rinsing in aproportion greater than medical students. Irregular visits to the dentist were found to be common among bothmedical and dental students and toothache was the major factor for dental visits in both groups. The lecturers werefound to be the most effective source of dental information for dental students, while the most effective source ofinformation for medical students was the family.Conclusion: The results of this study indicate that knowledge and behavior toward oral health and dental careespecially for the medical students need to be improved and there is a need for inclusion of oral health education inthe medical curriculum.