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Original Article

IJMDC. 2019; 3(3): 266-271

Dental students’ perceptions of oral and maxillofacial surgery as a specialty

Ibrahim Ayiz Almutairi, Abdullah Awdah AlQarni, Mohammad Alharbi, Ahmed Bejad Almutairi, Mohammed Fahad Aldohan, Nasser Faiz Alkhaldi.


Background: The perceptions of dental and medical students, and also of the general public about oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMS) as a specialty are different and confused. This study aims to analyze the dental student’s perceptions of OMS as a specialty in Saudi Arabia.
Methodology: A survey was done regarding the dental student’s perceptions of oral and maxillofacial surgery as a specialty from different aspects in August and September 2018. Dental students of different classes participated. The answers of the students were tabulated and underwent for statistical analysis.
Results: Answers of 450 dental students of different classes were included. There was a clear relation between the student’s year of education and their perceptions of OMS specialty. Facial reconstructive surgery and facial trauma were considered statistically significant as the most common performed procedure by oral and maxillofacial surgeon, while wisdom tooth removal was considered by both younger classes and fresh graduated to be the most common performed procedure by periodontists. Plastic surgeon was preferred by younger classes more than oral and maxillofacial surgeon for referring cases of mandibular fracture and cleft lip and palate unlike the fresh graduated who preferred maxillofacial surgeon over the plastic surgeon for treating these cases. OMS was considered a highly important dental specialty by both younger classes and fresh graduates.
Conclusion: The results of study indicate that there is a need for the academic faculty to increase the training and awareness of undergraduate students about oral and maxillofacial specialty.

Key words: Oral and maxillofacial surgery, perceptions , fresh graduated, dental students

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