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IJMDC. 2021; 5(3): 923-928

Assessing the use of social media as a source of information related to dentistry in Saudi Arabia

Philomine Princy, Rawan Yahya Shareif, Lama Majed Alharbi, Fatima Esmail Alghamdi, Mashael Hassn Alhebshi, Ramesh Venkatesan.


Background: The use of social media is exceptionally common these days. Clinical dental care has been through incredible impacts of social media in terms of data storage and provision of patientsÂ’ data. Thereby, this study aimed to assess the use of social media as a source of information related to dentistry in Saudi Arabia and its relationship with socio-demographic factors.
Methodology: This study was a community-based descriptive cross-sectional study conducted in different regions of Saudi Arabia in the year 2020. A total of 450 participants were recruited from the general population. Data were collected using an online self-administered questionnaire via Google Forms.
Results: Most of the participants (60.2%) were female. About 52.4% of the population preferred WhatsApp over other social media platforms. Around 57.3% of the participants encountered dental education or videos in social media. Furthermore, 49.1% of the participants preferred YouTube for searching or asking about dental problems, whereas 46% of the participants did not know about teledentistry. Social media was effective for the improvement of dental services; this was agreed by 59% of the participants. However, lack of trust (45.5%) and lack of confidentiality (26.4%) were the most important barriers for usage of social media for dental care. Occupation was also significantly associated with the use of social media as source of information as represented by groups of employees, and students were more inclined to use social media as a source of dental information (p-value = 0.00).
Conclusion: Dental education and practice through social media is effective and easily accessible but requires more efforts to be noted and implemented correctly.

Key words: Social media, source, information, dentistry.

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