Dental students' perceived level of competence in orofacial pain.
Orofacial pain (OFP) is a group of symptoms affecting a significant portion of the population; inadequate diagnosis and management of these symptoms present a potential detrimental effect on the public's health. It has been suggested that dental schools must prepare their graduates to deal with these problems rather than relying on their participation in continuing education courses after graduation. The aim of this study was to determine how third- and fourth-year students at one dental school perceived their level of competence related to OFP. Out of 140 students who were sent the survey, seventy-four (53 percent response rate) completed it in its entirety. The cross-sectional survey included questions regarding the students' familiarity with the categories of OFP. Questions asked how they perceived their knowledge in each of these areas, how comfortable they felt providing diagnosis and treatment, and if more knowledge was needed. The results showed that the fourth-year students were more comfortable than the third-year students in diagnosing and managing intraoral pain. Multiple comparisons also showed statistically significant differences between OFP categories for questions related to perceived knowledge, comfort in diagnosing and treating, and perceived need for more information. Overall, the students' perceived knowledge of and confidence in treating OFP varied with respect to certain categories, being lowest for psychogenic pain.
Alonso, AA; Heima, M; Lang, LA; Teich, ST
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