Nigerian Dentists Knowledge and Compliance with Changes in Infection Prevention and Control Protocols for Dental Treatment in the Covid-19 Era.

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Omolara G. UTI
Oyinkansola SOFOLA


Objective: To assess the knowledge, practice changes and level of compliance of dentists in Nigeria regarding infection prevention and control (IPC) measures required for dental treatment in the Covid-19 era.

Methods: This study was part of a national descriptive online survey conducted using google platforms. Information on socio-demographics, knowledge, management practices, access to dental care and willingness to treat patients during the COVID-19 pandemic were obtained using a 32 item validated self administered questionnaire. Chi-square test was used to determine the association between categorical variables.

Results: A total of 327 dentists in public (78.9%) and private (21.1%) owned clinics in 6 geopolitical zones of the country participated in the survey with a mean age of 39.9± 9.8 years.

The overall level of knowledge of COVID19-related IPC measures when managing dental patients was good (84.1%). However, knowledge of critical aspects of IPC such as appropriate use of personal protective equipment, was not optimal. Similarly, there were several changes in management practices for dental conditions by dentists but compliance levels with IPC protocols were poor (59.3%).  There was a significant association between knowledge and level of compliance with IPC practices.

Conclusion:  There was a good level of knowledge of IPC protocols and the attendant changes arising from the COVID19 pandemic among Nigerian Dentists, however, the compliance level to these IPC measures was poor. Also, knowledge was less than optimum in some aspect. Considering the high infectivity of the virus, there is a need to continuously educate dentists on all aspects of IPC against this very contagious disease to guarantee personnel and patient safety.

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