Association between Diabetes Mellitus and Periodontal Diseases: A Survey of the Opinions of Dental Professionals

Emad Alshwaimi, Majdy Majed Mahmoud Idrees, Z. Berri, Haytham El-Sakka, Omar Kujan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:
This cross-sectional survey aimed to assess the knowledge of dentists and dental assistants practicing in Saudi Arabia, regarding diabetes mellitus (DM) and periodontal diseases.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS:
We used a pre-tested, closed-ended, multiple-choice questionnaire covering two principal sections; the assessment of previous educational training and practice, and the knowledge and scientific background regarding the DM and periodontal diseases. The responses were grouped using the Likert-type scale.

RESULTS:
The questionnaire showed a high reliability value of 0.805 as determined by a Cronbach's alpha. Out of 365 subjects who were initially interviewed, 239 subjects participated (response rate 65.5%); general dentists (45.6%), and dental hygienists and assistants (54.4%). 70.4% of the participating dentists were males, in contrast, 87.7% of dental assistants were female. Eighty five percent of participants strongly agreed that evidence supports the association between periodontal diseases and DM. Remarkably, dental assistants (78%) agreed more than dentists (68.5%) that diabetic patients with periodontal conditions would have worse glycemic control compared to diabetic patients with no periodontal diseases. Seventy five percent of the respondents were confident about performing oral health screening for diabetic patients. Significantly more dental assistants showed their desire to expand their practice to include oral health screening (85%) and education compared to dentists (74%).

CONCLUSIONS:
Both dentists and dental assistants in Saudi Arabia revealed a satisfactory knowledge level regarding the periodontal-diabetes interactions with no significant difference between the two groups. Further studies are recommended to assess the attitude of dental care providers while dealing with diabetic patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-149
JournalMedical Principles and Practice
Volume28
Issue number2
Early online date29 Nov 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019

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