Gabrielė Jurgelytė1, Austėja Mitalauskienė1, Arūnas Vasiliauskas2
1Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Medical Academy, Faculty of Odontology
2Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Medical Academy, faculty of Odontology, Clinic of Orthodontics
Introduction. Premature loss of deciduous teeth is a common complication of dental caries, which can lead to space loss, crowding of teeth. The problem can be prevented by the use of space maintainers. Therefore, dentists must be aware of space maintenance methods.
Aim. To analyze Lithuanian dentists’ with less than 5 years of work experience knowledge about premature deciduous teeth loss and space maintenance.
Material and methods. An anonymous online survey of 36 closed questions was prepared. The survey was posted on Facebook.com group of Lithuanian dentists. Statistical data analysis was performed using “IBM SPSS” program, version 24.0. In analytical statistics, two-dimensional data analysis of the Chi-square (x2) criterion was applied to compare the distribution of phenomena between groups, when its assumptions are not met, Fisher’s exact criterion (F) was applied. The value of p < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results. 166 Lithuanian dentists participated in the study. A correlation between their amount of knowledge about premature deciduous teeth loss and space maintenance, and the frequency of practical work with children was found. Dentists working with children daily, answered correctly to survey’s questions more often compared to those working with children only a few times per year (p<0.05). 50% of dentists estimated their knowledge to be “satisfactorily”, while 38.6% of the participants evaluated their knowledge as “good”. Few participants (6.6%) evaluated their knowledge as “very good”. The rest of the participants (4.8%) evaluated their knowledge as “poor”.
Conclusions. Dental practitioners working with children daily have better knowledge about primary teeth loss and space maintenance than those working with children a few times per year. Most of the dentists have satisfactorily knowledge about deciduous teeth loss and space maintenance methods. Therefore, it is essential to renew and expand their awareness.
Keywords: preventive orthodontics, dentists, premature teeth loss, space maintainers.