Knowledge of Lithuanian General Dentists of Periodontal Disease Diagnostics, Management and Risk Assessment
The aim of this study was to investigate the knowledge of general dentists in Lithuania concerning periodontal treatment modalities for the diagnosis and management approaches of periodontal diseases. A previously piloted and revised questionnaire was distributed between random sample of 1005 general dentists via e-mail. The questionnaire consisted of 47 multiple-choice questions divided into three sections: general information, questions about diagnosis and treatment of periodontal diseases and factors preventing or limiting the availability of periodontal treatment. 502 general dentists filled the questionnaire with the response rate of 49,95%. The age average of the respondents was 37 years with the average of 12,5 years in practice. 58% of respondents worked together with dental hygienist; 29% with a periodontist in their practice. Dentists working in urban areas were more likely to have a dental hygienist and periodontist in their practice (p<0,05). Minority of dentists performs periodontal examination (full and partial examination, 14% and 27,9%, respectively) regularly. 93% general dentists take radiographs for periodontal diagnosis, 23,5% only periapical, 33,7% only panoramic and 43,9% use both. 21% of respondents never perform root surface debridement and 20% of these general dentists do not work together with a dental hygienist. Only 5% of respondents evaluate patient’s risk of periodontal diseases. General dentists in Lithuania perform inadequate diagnostics and very little periodontal treatment delivery, in addition to reluctant referral to the periodontist. Thus indicating a necessity of distinctive guidelines and its attentive application in general dental practice.
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