Future Dental Journal


Objective: Comprehensive knowledge in medication therapy and safety is an important skill for healthcare providers to master. Effective and safe use of pain and anti-inflammatory medications in teaching dental clinics requires a comprehensive knowledge base of the various drug agents. The purpose of this study is to assess the knowledge and perception of student dentists in various dental schools in Saudi Arabia in the use of pain and anti-inflammatory drug therapies. This study could help identify common areas for collaboration and improvement in healthcare delivery between pharmacy and dental medicine in Saudi Arabia. Methods: 328 student dentists enrolled in traditional six-year dental program in Saudi Arabia were invited to participate in a voluntary online survey. The brief survey consisted of 21 multiple choice questions and was delivered as a secure link through email and private social media messaging services. The survey permitted only 1 attempt per user. In order to reach out and capture non-respondents, 2 follow-up reminders - 10 days apart - were sent through the same channels of communication. The data collection and statistical analysis of this study is conducted using the online survey platform, Qualtrics. Results: The response rate was 22.6% (74 out of 328). Approximately 77% (n=58) of participants were third, fourth, fifth and sixth year students. Nearly 50% (n=38) of respondents indicated that they have treated patients with pain and inflammation before, and nearly 94% (n=70) of respondents indicated that they counsel patients to take medications as prescribed. However, 66% (n=49) reported not knowing how non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug therapy is discontinued. Approximately 70% (n=51) of respondents prefer to approach a pharmacist with drug therapy questions. Nearly 31% (n=18) of third, fourth, fifth and sixth year students indicated that they use paracetamol as an anti-inflammatory agent. Conclusion: Among data reported in this survey, evidence of gaps in knowledge in pain and anti-inflammatory pharmacotherapy is shown. There is need for inter-professional collaboration between pharmacy and dental medicine in Saudi Arabia to help close gaps in knowledge for students. More research is needed among a larger sample of student dentists to develop a better understanding of the type of collaboration effort required