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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 90-97

Assessment of knowledge, practice, and level of preparedness of dentists practicing in Nigeria toward COVID-19 pandemic

1 Department of Surgery, Benjamin Carson (Snr), School of Medicine, Babcock University; Department of Dentistry, Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Ilisan-Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria
2 Department of Oral Pathology and Oral Medicine, Faculty of Dentistry, Lagos State University College of Medicine, Lagos State, Nigeria
3 Department of Child Dental Health, Bayero University, Kano State, Nigeria
4 Department of Oral Medicine, School of Dental Medicine, Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Titus Ayodeji Oyedele
Department of Surgery, Benjamin Carson (Snr), School of Medicine, Babcock University, Ilisan-Remo, Ogun
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sjos.SJOralSci_59_20

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Introduction: The coronavirus disease pandemic (COVID-19) had a global impact on health sectors including dentistry. As dental services have to be performed and cannot be withheld for a prolonged period, dentists should prepare themselves to understand the disease process and to face future treatment challenges in affected patients to fully resume dental services. There was a need to evaluate the knowledge of dentists on Covid-19 disease process, and readiness in practicing dentistry in this situation. Aim: This study aimed at assessing the knowledge, practice, and level of preparedness of dentists in Nigeria towards the COVID-19 pandemic. Materials and Methods: An online cross-sectional survey involving dentists practicing in Nigeria was carried out using the SurveyMonkey™ platform. The link for the questionnaire from the platform was forwarded to dentists individually and on platforms of various oral health-care providers. The questionnaires tested for knowledge, practice, and preparedness of the respondents to the COVID-19 pandemic. Their biodata and practice experiences were also collected. Data were electronically retrieved from the SurveyMonkey platform in Excel spreadsheet and analysis was done; statistical significance was established at P ≤ 0.05. Results and discussion: A total of 209 dentists participated in the online survey; there were more respondents from the age group of 25 to 34 years. Majority of the participants practiced in the tertiary setting. Over 97% of the respondents first learned about the novel coronavirus through the media; 97.1% agreed that the main mode of spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 is through respiratory droplets on close contact, and 91.4% agreed on spread through respiratory droplets on surfaces. Over 35% had no previous training on infection and prevention control (IPC) and 50% of the centers where the respondents practice had no IPC committee. Ninety-nine percent of the respondents have heard about personal protective equipment (PPE), but only 51.5% had PPE in their clinic, while 33.7% of these have had training on the use of PPE. Over 80% of respondents exhibited fear; junior residents were the most fearful, and 67% of respondents from tertiary institutions have limited their procedures during this pandemic. Conclusion: This study showed that COVID-19 pandemic poses a new threat to dental practices worldwide and Nigeria in particular. Therefore, the practice of dentistry must evolve in the presence of COVID-19.

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