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A Journal on Dentistry and Maxillofacial Surgery

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Odontostomatology and Maxillofacial Surgery
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Minerva Stomatologica 2006 June;55(6):391-400


language: English, Italian

Evaluation of Milan University Dental Students’ knowledge of health and hygiene risks related to clinical work

Galli M. G., Tesauro M., Bianchi A., Consonni M.

Institute of Hygiene University of Milan, Milan, Italy


Aim. Several different subjects in the Degree Course in Dentistry and Prosthodontics, including Hygiene, are of fundamental importance to understand and prevent hygiene/ health risks in the dental field. The aim of this investigation is to evaluate the knowledge acquired by students during the Degree Course in Dentistry.
Methods. A questionnaire was distributed to 121 students of the Degree Course in Dentistry and Prosthodontics at Milan University; the questionnaire, drawn up by the Working Group SItI “Hygiene in Dentistry” was structured in 3 parts: personal data; transmission of infectious diseases in dentistry; measures to control and prevent cross-infection.
Results. The students were all aware of the health/hygiene risks in dentistry; they knew the principal transmissible infectious diseases (while confusing actual risk of transmission with disease’s fears) and the procedures at highest risk of cross-infection for patients and dental professionals; they correctly determined the highest-risk categories of patients and the individual protection devices to be used in dental practice. However, they knew little about their own vaccination status; a low percentage of students answered correctly on which environmental matrices can be contaminated or the more technical questions on disinfection and sterilisation procedures for the instruments employed.
Conclusion. The students’ replies show they possess a fair theoretical knowledge of transmission risks; however, some gaps exist above all in the practical application of this knowledge, and it appears clear that these should be addressed in detail, possibly with the help of a specific tutor providing support during normal clinical work in the last year of the course

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