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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 27-29

Dentist's role in maxillofacial prosthetic rehabilitation: Outlook of undergraduate dental students of aimst university: A questionnaire-based study


1 Department of Prosthodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, AIMST Dental Institute, AIMST University, Bedong, Kedah, Malaysia
2 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, AIMST Dental Institute, AIMST University, Bedong, Kedah, Malaysia
3 Undergraduate Dental Surgery Students, Faculty of Dentistry, AIMST Dental Institute, AIMST University, Bedong, Kedah, Malaysia

Date of Web Publication28-May-2020

Correspondence Address:
Ajay Jain
Associate Professor, Department of Prosthodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, AIMST Dental Institute, AIMST University, Semeling 08100 Bedong, Kedah
Malaysia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/dmr.dmr_27_19

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  Abstract 


Statement of Problem: Anecdotal evidence suggests that there is a lack of literature regarding the awareness of maxillofacial prostheses among dental students. Purpose: This study identifies the level of cognition of undergraduate dental students in various aspects of maxillofacial prosthetic rehabilitation using a questionnaire. Materials and Methods: A total of 180 undergraduate dental students were involved in the study for the analysis of a series of structured questionnaires, related to awareness of dentist's role in maxillofacial prosthetic rehabilitation. Results: The results of the study showed that 90% of the cohort were aware of a maxillofacial prosthesis. About 78% of the cohort had heard of various types of maxillofacial prosthesis. Only 18.3% and 28.9% of the cohort had knowledge that silicone elastomer and acrylic is used in the fabrication of such prosthesis, respectively, but 41.7% were not sure about it. About 80% and 86.1% of the cohort think that maxillofacial prosthetic rehabilitation is an alternative treatment option for plastic reconstructive surgery and maxillofacial prosthetists should be the team member of anaplastology team, respectively. Conclusions: The majority of the students were aware of maxillofacial prosthetic rehabilitation to a certain degree. This survey underlines the need for providing adequate awareness initiatives for dental students to further enhance their knowledge and exposure regarding this field of expertise.

Keywords: Implant-retained prosthesis, maxillofacial prostheses, maxillofacial prosthetist, rehabilitation


How to cite this article:
Jain A, Ugrappa S, Hui JF, Kai KS, Koay MJ. Dentist's role in maxillofacial prosthetic rehabilitation: Outlook of undergraduate dental students of aimst university: A questionnaire-based study. Dent Med Res 2020;8:27-9

How to cite this URL:
Jain A, Ugrappa S, Hui JF, Kai KS, Koay MJ. Dentist's role in maxillofacial prosthetic rehabilitation: Outlook of undergraduate dental students of aimst university: A questionnaire-based study. Dent Med Res [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Jul 14];8:27-9. Available from: http://www.dmrjournal.org/text.asp?2020/8/1/27/285210




  Introduction Top


Maxillofacial prosthetics is a subspecialty of prosthodontics which involves rehabilitation of patients with defects or disabilities that were present when born (such as cleft palate) or developed due to disease (cancer) or trauma (burns and car accidents) or during military service (wounded war veterans). These prostheses play a vital role in comprehensive rehabilitation by restoring physical and psychological well-being in patients. Maxillofacial prostheses are constructed by maxillofacial prosthetists and technologists, as an alternative treatment when maxillofacial defects cannot be surgically fulfilled.[1]

Recent advances in maxillofacial dentistry have increased demand for prosthetic rehabilitation of patients with facial defects. Prosthetics offer the advantage of quick, reversible, and medically uncomplicated rehabilitation. In addition, the restoration may be readily removed to allow evaluation of the health of the underlying tissue.[2] Prosthetic reconstruction of maxillofacial defects has become easy with the help of an anaplastological team.

Rehabilitation of maxillofacial deformities is a challenging task because it involves not only a lot of skills and expertise but also many disciplines working in unison for optimum outcome. However, more often than not, a prosthodontist is not a member of tumor board and consulted after surgery which affects the prognosis of the rehabilitation adversely.[3] There is a perceived need to create awareness among referring surgeons and physicians, and interprofessional education initiatives were deemed necessary to improve this collaboration.[4]

Most of the studies have conducted on awareness of dental implants as a tooth replacement option.[5],[6] Literature is lacking in general public and patients, requiring treatment, knowledge, and awareness of maxillofacial prosthetic rehabilitation in dental hospital by a dentist. Hence, the aim of this study is to assess the level of awareness and knowledge among dental students of dentist's role in maxillofacial prosthetic rehabilitation.


  Materials and Methods Top


This study was conducted in AIMST Dental Institute, AIMST University, Kedah, Malaysia. The subjects for this study were undergraduate dental students, and in total, 180 students participated in the study. The data were collected via a structured interview in the form of questionnaire and the students were informed for the purpose of study and their consent was obtained. A questionnaire which sought students's awareness of maxillofacial prosthesis in replacement of teeth and other parts of the facial region was given, and the beginning part of the questionnaire inquired related to sociodemographic factors. Further inquiries were focused on questions sought to help determine the level of awareness of students regarding the dentist's role in maxillofacial prosthetic rehabilitation and its various aspects. The data were tabulated and the results were obtained.


  Results Top


In total, 180 students participated in this questionnaire study, among which 42.80% were male and 57.20% were female. Fifteen questions were included in the survey, and [Table 1] displays the mean of each question.
Table 1: Mean of each questions answered by cohort

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The results of the study showed that 90% of the cohort were aware of maxillofacial prosthesis through the means of newspaper and magazines (38%), friends and relatives (25%), internet (26%), and others (11%). About 69% and 66% of the cohort had a knowledge that maxillofacial prosthetics is a subspecialty in prosthodontics and these prostheses are used for rehabilitation of congenital as well as acquired defects, respectively. About 78% of the cohort had heard of various types of maxillofacial prosthesis, including maxillary obturator (15.6%), mandibular guidance appliances (8.3%), and palatal lift prosthesis (9.4%). Only 18.3% and 28.9% of the cohort had knowledge that silicone elastomer and acrylic is used in the fabrication of such prosthesis, respectively, but 41.7% were not sure about it. About 33.3% and 90% of the population had a view that high cost may be the limitation of such prosthesis and implants can be used in rehabilitation of such defects, respectively. Almost 83.9% and 84.4% of the cohort think that a special clinical set up is required for this specialty and should be the included in the undergraduate dental curriculum, respectively. Almost 80% and 86.1% of the population think that maxillofacial prosthetic rehabilitation is an alternative treatment option for plastic reconstructive surgery and maxillofacial prosthetists should be a member of anaplastology team, respectively. About 62.8% and 83.3% of the cohort think that there are certified courses available for maxillofacial prosthetists and most of the patients are referred from general hospitals, respectively.


  Discussion Top


In this study, the highest percentage of students have heard of maxillofacial prosthesis from newspaper, books, or magazines followed by from the Internet then from friends and relatives and finally from television. Another 10% of the dental students have not heard of maxillofacial prosthesis at all before. This result is similar to the study conducted by Berge[7] which found that the media was the main source of information about maxillofacial prosthetics. Based on our survey, majority of the cohort group of dental students know that maxillofacial prosthetics is a subspecialty in prosthodontics. Less than half of dental students do not know that maxillofacial prosthetics is a subspecialty in prosthodontics. From this result, the author concluded that a majority of students have heard of maxillofacial prosthetics from the media, as mentioned above.

In this current study, most of the cohort group of dental students are not sure what the most common material used in the fabrication of maxillofacial prosthesis is. This is probably due to the lack of knowledge of the students in maxillofacial prosthetic rehabilitation. Almost half of the students are not being sure what material is used probably due to the lack of exposure to maxillofacial prosthetic appliances. The results show that some students think that acrylic is used for the fabrication of maxillofacial prosthesis.

When asked about the most major limitations of the maxillofacial prosthesis, 33.3% of the cohort group of students mentioned high costs as the main limitation, while 40.6% of the students mentioned that high cost, need of surgery, long treatment time, and lack of awareness are all limitations of maxillofacial prosthesis. Our result is similar to the research conducted by Satpathy et al.[8] on patient awareness, acceptance, and perceived cost of dental implants as a treatment modality for replacement of missing teeth, in which slightly more than half of those interviewed mentioned high cost as the major disadvantage of dental implant modality.[9] This information indicates that dental students need to increase their knowledge regarding maxillofacial prosthesis so that they are more aware of the benefits of the maxillofacial prosthesis and not only the limitations.

The majority mass of the cohort group of students think that implants can be used as a support for maxillofacial prosthetic rehabilitation. This high percentage could be due to the fact that the students may have more knowledge regarding dental implants.[10]

According to our survey, a predominant part of the cohort group of dental students agrees that it is their responsibility to spread awareness of maxillofacial prosthetic rehabilitation among the general population and medical practitioner. As dental students, we have the responsibility to provide knowledge and insight relevant to our field to patients to improve the quality of their life after accidents and trauma.[3]

Most dental students think that a special clinical setup is required for this subspecialization. This high percentage could be due to the fact that the students are aware that for the fabrication of maxillofacial prosthesis, special equipment and materials are needed.

Based on our research data, the majority cohort group of dental students agrees that this specialization should be included in their dental curriculum. This implies that the students are interested and acknowledge the importance of maxillofacial prosthesis rehabilitation. Implementation of this into the dental curriculum will benefit the students greatly as it will increase their knowledge in this specialization. The rest of dental students disagree to include this specialization in the dental curriculum as they may find the subject too advanced for an undergraduate level.

A high percentage of dental students are aware that maxillofacial prosthetic rehabilitation is an alternative treatment option for plastic reconstructive surgery. This is because the students are aware of various treatment approaches for a specific case. Students also understand that for certain situations, the maxillofacial prosthesis will probably be a better alternative instead of going for conventional plastic reconstructive surgeries only.[11] Besides that, the maxillofacial prosthesis can also be combined with plastic reconstructive surgery for optimal rehabilitation and results. About 86.1% of the dental students agree that maxillofacial prosthetists should be the team member of anaplastology team. This implies that the students are aware of the importance of collaboration between individuals with specific skill sets for the successful treatment of the patient.[12]

According to our survey, majority of the dental students agree that most of the patients are referred from the general hospital. This high percentage may be because most of the patients which are involved in trauma or accidents or require surgical rehabilitation are sent to the emergency department of the general hospital.[3],[13]


  Conclusions Top


In conclusion, this survey among dental students showed that the majority of the students were aware of maxillofacial prosthetic rehabilitation to a certain degree. The results also show that most dental students found the main limitation of maxillofacial prosthesis to be expensive and unaffordable. However, about 80% of the dental students show interest in increasing their knowledge regarding maxillofacial prosthesis. The survey underlines the need for providing adequate awareness initiatives for dental students to further enhance their knowledge and exposure regarding this field of expertise.



Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Amjad F, Aziz S. Trends, awareness, and attitudes of patients towards replacement of missing teeth at University College of Dentistry. Pak Oral Dent J 2014;34:190.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Thiele OC, Brom J, Dunsche A, Ehrenfeld M, Federspil P, Frerich B, et al. The current state of facial prosthetics – A multicenter analysis. J Craniomaxillofac Surg 2015;43:1038-41.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Paprocki GJ. Maxillofacial prosthetics: History to modern applications. Part 1 – Obturators. Compend Contin Educ Dent 2013;34:e84-6.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
McCord JF, Michelinakis G. Systematic review of the evidence supporting intra-oral maxillofacial prosthodontic care. Eur J Prosthodont Restor Dent 2004;12:129-35.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Al-Musawi A, Sharma P, Maslamani M, Dashti M. Public awareness and perception of dental implants in randomly selected sample in Kuwait. J Med Imp Surg 2017;2:116.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Al-Dwairi ZN, El Masoud BM, Al-Afifi SA, Borzabadi-Farahani A, Lynch E. Awareness, attitude, and expectations toward dental implants among removable prostheses wearers. J Prosthodont 2014;23:192-7.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Berge TI. Public awareness, information sources and evaluation of oral implant treatment in Norway. Clin Oral Implants Res 2000;11:401-8.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Satpathy A, Porwal A, Bhattacharya A, Sahu PK. Patient awareness, acceptance and perceived cost of dental implants as a treatment modality for replacement of missing teeth: A survey in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. Int J Public Dent 2011;2:1-7.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Sykes BE, Curtis TA, Cantor R. Psychosocial aspects of maxillofacial rehabilitation. II. A long-range evaluation. J Prosthet Dent 1972;28:540-5.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Pommer B, Zechner W, Watzak G, Ulm C, Watzek G, Tepper G. Progress and trends in patients' mindset on dental implants. I: Level of information, sources of information and need for patient information. Clin Oral Implants Res 2011;22:223-9.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Goyal MK, Goyal S, Dhanasekar B. Modern trends in modeling of extra-oral defects. Indian J Dent Res 2014;25:128-32.  Back to cited text no. 11
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
12.
Roefs AJ, van Oort RP, Schaub RM. Factors related to the acceptance of facial prostheses. J Prosthet Dent 1984;52:849-52.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.
Jani RM, Schaaf NG. An evaluation of facial prostheses. J Prosthet Dent 1978;39:546-50.  Back to cited text no. 13
    



 
 
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