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Periodontal services rendered by general dental practitioners in Saudi Arabia

Authors Alblowi JA, Zahid TM

Received 18 October 2018

Accepted for publication 30 January 2019

Published 6 March 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 53—60


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Cristina Weinberg

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Christopher Okunseri

Jazia A Alblowi, Talal M Zahid

Periodontology Department, Faculty of Dentistry, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Purpose: The study aimed to determine the types of periodontal services rendered by general dental practitioners (GDPs) in Saudi Arabia.
Subjects and methods: A cross-sectional survey was performed on a convenience sample of 340 licensed GDPs practicing within Saudi Arabia. GDPs were asked several questions regarding the types of periodontal services offered, the level of training and education received in periodontics and the periodontal referral processes.
Results: Two hundred and ninety GDPs responded to the survey. The most commonly rendered periodontal services by the GDPs were oral hygiene instructions (84.1%; 244/290), mouthwash prescribing (82.7%; 240/290) and scaling and root planing (72.4%; 210/290). Only 21% (59/282) of the GDPs surveyed reported providing periodontal surgical services. The most frequently rendered surgical procedures included gingivectomy, functional crown lengthening and single posterior implant. Also, 76% (220/290) of the GDPs had no continuing education (CE) credit relating to periodontics. The level of training received in the dental school seemed to be an important factor that influenced a GDP’s decision to provide periodontal services. Also, 64% (184/286) of the GDPs were not routinely performing periodontal screening exams. The most common reason for not referring patients to a periodontist was practice setting’s policy.
Conclusion: Periodontal services commonly rendered by the GDPs of this survey were mostly nonsurgical in nature. The results indicate a need for formal advanced training in periodontics. GDPs should be encouraged to take periodontic CE courses.

Keywords: periodontology, periodontics, periodontal services, periodontal therapy, general dentist, general dental practitioner

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