Radvilė Raubaitė1, Rūta Rastenienė1
1Vilnius University, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Odontology, Vilnius, Lithuania
Background. Dentistry students lack confidence to treat patients with systemic diseases. Many referrals to oral surgery departments are considered as routine procedures, which may cause a delay of service to more critical patients. Reluctance to perform dental extraction procedures on patients with systemic diseases may be due to lack of knowledge in managing potential postoperative complications (e.g. postoperative bleeding, delayed wound healing, hypoglycaemic shock).
Aim. To assess and compare the knowledge of 4th– and 5th-year Lithuanian dentistry students on the influence systemic diseases have on dental extraction procedures, determine factors leading to one’s better knowledge and assess the need for practical guidelines.
Methods. An anonymous survey was presented electronically to 4th– and 5th– year Lithuanian dentistry students. Statistical data analysis was performed with program R.
Results. On average, 40.3 percent of answers to theoretical questions were correct. 5th year students’ knowledge on hypertension and diabetes was significantly better than 4th year students (p < 0.05). The knowledge of students, who expressed further interest in minimal surgical interventions, was significantly more extensive (p = 0.02). Most respondents (96.2 percent) indicated the need for practical guidelines on the topic.
Conclusions. Although being a final-year student was a significant factor in deeper understanding of the effect diabetes and hypertension have on dental extraction procedures, all students generally may lack expertise in this field. Further interest in surgical interventions, including attending conferences, courses or reading scientific literature contribute to ones’ better knowledge. The need for practical guidelines on this topic is significant.
Keywords: systemic diseases, tooth extraction, complications after tooth extraction.