Abstract: Objectives To assess dental students knowledge and attitudes towards preventive dental care. Methods A questionnaire survey was conducted among dental students and level of knowledge was assessed. Higher scores indicated more accurate knowledge. Dentist students attitudes towards preventive dental care were rated based on responses on a Likert scale (17) to nine pairs of bipolar adjectives. The respondents were to choose the response which best described their opinion. Higher scores indicated more positive attitudes. Of 500 responding dentists, 447 (64 % men) were deemed eligible for this study. Statistical evaluation was by t-test and the Chi-square test. Results Highest ratings were obtained for knowledge of the role of sugar consumption (MeanSD 3.730.60), sealants (3.580.68), and water fluoridation (3.350.81) in caries prevention, the lowest for their knowledge of the superiority of the use of fluoride toothpaste over technique of brushing (1.111.09). Dentists attitudes towards preventive dental care appeared most positive regarding its usefulness (Useful Useless, 6.670.94), value (Valuable Worthless, 6.590.98) to the community and for its status as a scientific (Scientific Unscientific, 6.471.06) subject. Overall, female dentists had more favourable attitudes towards preventive dental care than male colleagues.
Keywords: Preventive dentistry, Dental care, Dental students, Dental Education