A questionnaire-based study evaluating differences between dental students in Paris (F) and Malmö (SE) regarding diagnosis and treatment decisions of patients with different severity levels of periodontal diseases.

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Abstract

AIM

To evaluate differences between last-year dental students in Paris (F) and Malmö (SE) Dental Schools, in regard to their judgement and decision-making within periodontology.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Ninety-six last-year dental students from Paris and 45 from Malmö participated in a questionnaire study based on four patient cases: (i) Patient case with generalised alveolar bone loss but no signs of inflammation (Well-maintained), (ii) Patient case with generalised alveolar bone loss and signs of inflammation (Periodontitis), (iii) Patient case with no alveolar bone loss and no signs of inflammation (Healthy) and (iv) Patient case with no alveolar bone loss but with signs of inflammation (Gingivitis). Through multiple-choice questions, the students judged each case as healthy or diseased proposed a diagnosis and treatment measures and estimated the treatment time for each patient. Furthermore, they assessed the prognosis of each patient in case of no treatment.

RESULTS

Based on a response rate of 83%, the majority in both groups judged all the patients as diseased. More Paris students diagnosed the healthy and the gingivitis case as having periodontitis (P < .05). Furthermore, a larger number of students from Paris recommended several treatment measures and estimated longer treatment times for all the cases (P < .05) and estimated a higher risk for disease progression for the healthy and the gingivitis case (P < .05).

CONCLUSIONS

Significant variation between students from Paris and Malmö Dental Schools in regard to judgement and decision-making was observed; this may in turn imply that there is still need of improving consistency amongst undergraduate educations in periodontology in Europe.

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