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Research Paper | Dental Science | India | Volume 7 Issue 11, November 2018
Perceived Knowledge Regarding the Specialty of Referral in Oro-Facial Conditions among Health Care Professionals
Abstract: Background and objectives: When a patient needs comprehensive multispecialty management, many may miss out on the best care due to the lack of awareness of their attending physician or doctor, about certain specialties. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is one such specialty which needs acquaintance of its scope by the health care professionals for proper referral. This study assesses the need for spreading awareness regarding the scope, by assessing awareness and knowledge about Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery among health care professionals. Methods: A questionnaire was given to 402 health care professionals from different fields of expertise and specialties, who were willing to take part in the study. The questionnaire consisted of 25 questions related to oro-facial conditions, treated usually in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Respondents were asked to select one answer for each question, from the options of OMFS, ENT, Plastic Surgery, General Surgery and others. Medical and dental professionals working in and around Trivandrum were the target population. Faculty and post-graduate students in Medical College, Trivandrum campus were excluded from the study. Results and discussion: Most of the dental professionals were found to be more aware of range of work done in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, in contrast to medical professionals. The difference in perceived knowledge was not significant for nose fractures, cleft lip and/or palate, removal of wisdom tooth and temporomandibular joint problems. Most of the respondents referred cases to OMFS for mandibular, maxillary and zygoma fractures. OMFS was also preferred for dento-alveolar trauma, maxillary cysts, benign mandibular tumors, removal of wisdom tooth, orthognathic surgeries, TMJ problems and maxillofacial infections. There was a difference of opinion for others. Dental professionals preferred OMFS for biopsy of oral lesions, lump in the mouth, mandibular reconstruction and bone graft in mandible, while medical professionals referred less number of cases for these conditions. There were more referrals to OMFS from medical professionals side for dental implants, as compared to dental professionals. There were overall less number of referrals to OMFS for cancer of the mouth, removal of salivary glands, cleft lip and/or palate, Rhinoplasty and problems with facial appearance. Conclusion: Perceived knowledge of health care professionals regarding specialty referrals in oro-facial conditions is average. Many health care professionals still associate our specialty mostly with intraoral conditions and tooth removal only. Health care professionals still lack information regarding the advances and new procedures being done in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, such as Rhinoplasty. Most of our work overlaps with two specialties, named Plastic Surgery and ENT. Dental Practitioners were more aware about the range of work done and referrals to OMFS than Medical Practitioners of all specialties.
Keywords: Awareness, Mutispeciality, Oral and Maxillofacial surgery, Professional
Edition: Volume 7 Issue 11, November 2018,
Pages: 1837 - 1855