Document Type : Research Articles
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Diagnostics Sciences, College of Dentistry, Jazan University, Saudi Arabia.
Objectives: Toxicities of the oral soft and hard tissues due to the radiotherapy of the head and neck cancer can potentially lead to interruptions of cancer treatment and/or dose reduction, resulting in poorer outcomes. The aim of this study was to assess the knowledge of dental practitioners in Saudi Arabia about oral and dental assessment for and complications of radiotherapy of head and neck cancer. Materials and Methods: An online, already validated, self-administered questionnaire was sent via an online link through WhatsApp groups and other Social Media platforms to reach out to the majority of targeted samples (dental practitioners working in Saudi Arabia). Responses were statistically described and analyzed based on the different grouping factors: gender, specialty, working sector, region of work and experience. Results: There were 370 respondents, 257 (69.5%) of them were males. Most of the respondents were general dental practitioners [144 (38.9%)], The percentages of the correct answers range from as low as 26.2 to as high as 97%. The per cent of correct answers by the respondents in 18 out of 31 questions was above 75%. Females, dental specialists (specifically prosthodontics), working in public sectors and in the central and western regions of Saudi Arabia were associated with higher levels of knowledge. Conclusion: Our results show highly variable knowledge of dental practitioners on oral and dental assessment for, and complications and management of radiotherapy to the head and neck area; that knowledge seems to fluctuate considerably with gender, experience, work sector and specialty.