Perception and utilization of oral histopathology services by general practice dentist in Southwest Nigeria
Background: Oral histopathology services are oral diagnostic procedures. General Dental Practitioners (GDPs) are routinely exposed to oral lesions that require biopsies. Hence, the study’s objective of assessing the perception and the utilization of oral histopathology services by GDPs.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted at dental clinics distributed across Southwest Nigeria. A self-administered questionnaire consisting of sections addressing the socio-demographic/professional aspects; the beliefs of GDPs and their utilization of oral histopathology services was used to collect data. A modified 5-point Likert rating scale was used to indicate the extent of agreement or disagreement with statement constructs. Analysis was done using SPSS for windows version 20.0. Significance was assessed at 5%.
Results: There were 56.1% males and 43.9% females. The peak age range was 30-39 years (35.4%), while 58.5% had < 10 years of practice and 79.3% work in government dental centres. Many of the respondents (61.0%) thought suspicious lesions should be biopsied, 47.6% thought that specialists’ skills were not required for biopsy. Furthermore, 53.7% had poor perception scores while 81.1% of those who had seen oral lesions that required biopsies, had poor utilization scores.
Conclusion: The GDPs had a poor perception and utilization of oral histopathology services. Continuous medical education is needed to increase awareness amongst dentists.
Keywords: Oral; Histopathology; General dental practice; Southwest Nigeria