Self-confidence in oral and maxillofacial surgery: a cross-sectional study of undergraduate dental students at Kuwait University



Background: To evaluate the self-confidence of undergraduate dental students in relation to oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMFS) to assess the teaching curriculum at Kuwait University using a validated questionnaire originally developed by the Association of British Academic Oral Maxillofacial Surgeons (ABAOMS).

Methods: A cross-sectional survey of sixth year (n = 20) and seventh year (n = 19) dentistry students was conducted by Kuwait University Faculty of Dentistry between the 1st and 15th of May 2020. The ABAOMS questionnaire is composed of 17 questions assessing various areas of the undergraduate OMFS curriculum. The response options to the questionnaire utilised a Likert scale. Independent sample t-tests were performed to assess the difference in responses between the 2 year groups. Spearman's rho correlations were calculated to measure the strength of association between confidence in all aspects of surgical and forceps exodontia.

Results: A total of 39 questionnaires were completed by the students. The majority of students expressed feelings of confidence that they have enough knowledge to undertake independent practice (61%). General aspects of the questionnaire were answered favourably except for surgical extraction of teeth, in which both classes reported a lower level of self-confidence.

Conclusions: The ABAOMS survey revealed the students' self-confidence in undertaking independent practice and preforming basic oral surgery procedures. Students felt comfortable with exodontia using forceps and elevators, root removal, managing acute pericoronitis, managing haemorrhage from a socket, assessing impacted teeth, and recognising the clinical features of potentially malignant and malignant lesions of the oral cavity. They reported a lower level of confidence in performing surgical procedures.

Keywords: Dental students; Oral and maxillofacial surgery teaching; Oral surgery education; Self-confidence.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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