Misdiagnosis: How Uncommonly Common is it? ZC21-ZC24
Dr. Uma B Dixit,
Professor and Head, Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, DY Patil University School of Dentistry, Navi Mumbai-400706, Maharashtra, India.
Introduction: General dentists may be the first dental practitioners to see children with dental problems. ‘Misdiagnosis’ of certain commonly occurring dental conditions in children by general dentists may lead to failure of treatment in children. There are a few studies that have evaluated either knowledge or practices of general dentists regarding specific conditions in children. However, we found a lacunae in studies that evaluate diagnostic ability of the dentists.
Aim: To evaluate the diagnostic skills and treatment acumen of general dentists related to caries and its consequences, dental injuries, and certain common as well as rare conditions in children.
Materials and Methods: The present study was a cross-sectional survey based study that included 55 general dentists treating children in their practices. Selected general dentists were asked to fill a questionnaire which included 15 questions with photographs, and complete description of history and clinical and/or radiographic findings of most commonly seen conditions in children. Options were provided for the diagnosis or treatment of each condition. Collected data were subjected to descriptive statistics and percentages of correct answers were obtained. Pearson’s correlation coefficient was calculated to evaluate correlation between two continuous variables.
Results: None of the participants could answer all 15 questions correctly. Number of correct answers given by general dentists ranged from 4 to 13, average score of correct answers being 9. Number of years in practice did not have significant association with diagnostic skills and treatment acumen of the general dentists (r=-0.0022).
Conclusion: General dentists did not demonstrate sufficient diagnostic skills or treatment acumen of commonly seen oral conditions in children.