Essentials of Dentistry
Original Article

Evaluation of Dentistry Undergraduate Students’ General Knowledge Levels and Attitudes About Oral Cancers: A Survey Study

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Department of Dentomaxillofacial Radiology, Faculty of Dentistry, Ankara University, Ankara, Turkey

Essentials of Dentistry 2024; 3: 1-7
DOI: 10.5152/EssentDent.2024.23032
Read: 299 Downloads: 146 Published: 15 March 2024

Background: Oral cancers are known to be a major global public health problem, with 377713 new cases and 177757 deaths in 2020. Dentists’ ability to possess sufficient knowledge about oral cancers and recognize premalignant lesions contributes to early diagnosis and treatment. The aim of this study is to measure and evaluate the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of the fourth- and fifth-year students studying at the Faculty of Dentistry concerning oral cancers.

Methods: This survey was conducted with the participation of 206 dentistry students studying in the fourth- and fifth-year students of the Faculty of Dentistry of Ankara University. Participants responded to a questionnaire regarding their knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors about oral cancer. The survey also included questions about the socio-demographic characteristics of the participants.

Results: Although 82% of the students participating in the survey routinely check the mucosa during intraoral examination, the rate of those who had the opportunity to examine a patient with a suspicious oral lesion was approximately 38.8% . Although 84% of respondents asked patients if they smoked, only 60% said they advised patients to quit smoking. About 45.6% of the participants stated that they were not sure that they had enough information to give smoking cessation advice.

Conclusion: The findings of the study show that the participants had a good level of knowledge about oral cancer, but this level could be increased. This study emphasizes the importance of knowing the risk factors for the prevention of oral cancers and the role of dentists in increasing the awareness of patients. In dentistry education, it is recommended that the existing dental curriculum before graduation should be arranged on oral cancers.

Cite this article as: Karacan Çelebi S, Polat Balkan E, Orhan K. Evaluation of dentistry undergraduate students’ general knowledge levels and attitudes about oral cancers: A survey study. Essent Dent. 2024;3(1):1-7.

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