Knowledge and attitude of dentists regarding radiation safety in government dental clinics in Khartoum, Sudan
Elmukhtar, Yasir Mohamed
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The level of knowledge and the attitude of dentists regarding radiation safety will have a direct impact on patient exposure to radiation. Aim: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the knowledge and attitude of dentists regarding radiation safety in government dental clinics in Khartoum, Sudan. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study using an administered structured questionnaire was carried out. The questionnaire consisted of 13 questions that included the demographic data of dentists, basic knowledge regarding radiation safety, knowledge of methods of dose reduction and the attitude of dentists regarding radiation safety. One hundred and sixty seven dental practitioners participated in the study. Results: The response rate was 90%. The majority were female, 59%, in the age group younger than 29 years with clinical experience less than 10 years. Only fifteen of the respondents identified themselves as specialist. Half of the respondents did not know that the thyroid gland is the most radiosensitive organ in the head and neck region. Forty four percent believed that the dose for panoramic radiography was higher than that for full mouth periapical radiographs. Forty percent had no idea that a relationship exists between the length of the x-ray cone and the amount of the dose and 44% who knew that the relationship existed, failed to explain that the long cone is more effective for reducing the patient dose. Forty seven percent of the respondents had no idea that there is a relationship between the speed of the film and the amount of dose and 44% who knew that the relationship existed, failed to explain that the fast film is more effective for reducing the patient dose. Sixty six percent had no idea that a relationship exists between collimation of the x-ray tube and patient dose. Forty six percent who knew the relationship existed, failed to explain that rectangular collimation is more effective for dose reduction. Seventy two percent of the dentists did not know what a safe distance from the radiation source was. Forty seven percent did not use film holders when taking periapical radiographs. Conclusions: This study clearly illustrates that there is a lack of knowledge regarding radiation safety in dentists in the government dental clinics in Khartoum, Sudan. Therefore there is a need to increase their knowledge regarding methods of radiation dose reduction (to patient) as well as improving their attitude regarding the radiation safety.