University of Western Cape
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Dental Practitioners' Knowledge and Attitude Towards Ultrasonography at The UWC Faculty of Dentistry

posted on 2024-05-15, 07:47 authored by Jessica Amy SimpsonJessica Amy Simpson, Robert Brian Barrie, Faheema Kimmie-Dhansay, Tineke van Zyl

Introduction: Ultrasonography - a method in which images are created using sound waves - offers cost-effective, portable, and non-invasive imaging without ionizing radiation. Despite 45 million South Africans relying on public healthcare and 24-week MRI scan waiting times at Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town, ultrasonography isn't widely used in dentistry. Could this be due to dental practitioners' unawareness of its diagnostic and therapeutic benefits, leading to reluctance to adopt this imaging method?

Methods: A cross-sectional study surveyed 108 dental practitioners at the UWC Faculty of Dentistry using online questionnaires. Approval was obtained from BMREC and UWC Faculty officials for the study. Data was collected via REDCap and analyzed with Microsoft Excel and STATA.

Results: Results indicated a 48.5% response rate with generally positive attitudes towards ultrasonography, varying across departments. The Craniofacial Biology, Pathology and Radiology department had the highest attitude score, and Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery showed the highest familiarity with ultrasonography, with specific questions yielding statistically significant results.

Regarding knowledge, the overall score was 71%. Knowledge levels were high in head and neck swellings and salivary gland disorders, while caries had the lowest score. However, no significant differences were observed across graduation years or departments.

Conclusion: Dental practitioners are not only receptive to learning about ultrasonography but also enthusiastic about its potential in patient care. By integrating an ultrasonography course into the dentistry curriculum, dental practitioners would be empowered with the skills and knowledge needed to effectively harness the benefits of ultrasonography, addressing critical healthcare challenges within South Africa.


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