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Knowledge, attitude, and practice regarding dental unit waterline disinfection among dental practitioners of India

Shivashankar Kengadaran , D. Srisakthi , I. Meignana Arumugham , R. Pradeepkumar


Irrigating the oral cavity during dental treatment along with providing cooling to certain items of equipment such as air rotors and mechanical scalars is done by dental unit water systems. It has been revelaed out through many studies that the output water of dental units is colonized with microorganisms which serve as a potential source of infection. As per the ethics (non- maleficence), it is the duty of a dentist to ensure that dental chair units provide good quality water output. Hence, it is important to assess the knowledge, attitude, and practice regarding disinfection of dental unit waterline (DUWL) among dental practitioners. A cross-sectional study is conducted among the dental practitioners practising in Chennai, India. The sample size was calculated as n = 114. A pre-tested, structured questionnaire was randomly distributed to the selected number of dental professional in Chennai, India. Filled questionnaires were collected and considered for analysis. Ethical clearance was obtained before the start of the study. Of the 130 dentists who received the questionnaire and a reminder, 103 (80%) returned the completely filled forms. Postgraduate (0.34 ± 0.586) had higher mean knowledge score compared to undergraduate (0.18 ± 0.385), and academicians (0.40 ± 0.610) had higher mean knowledge score than non-academicians (0.13 ± 0.334). The difference was found to be significant statistically. However, there was no significant difference in mean attitude and practice scores between different groups. The dental practitioners who responded to this survey generally did not disinfect or test their DUWLs. However, they were concerned with the well-being of the patient and were ready to adopt an effective method of DUWL disinfection. Conduct workshop or continuing dental education programs on disinfection of DUWL may improve the attitude toward disinfection of waterlines.

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