Evaluation of radiation awareness among oral health care providers in South Africa

Keywords: radiation, safety, protection, legislation, dental radiography, South Africa


The aim of this study was to assess the awareness of oral health care providers and dental students regarding radiation safety, protection and legislation pertaining to dental radiography in South Africa. An online questionnaire consisting of 20 structured multiple-choice questions was distributed among final year students and oral health care providers. The mean, median, standard deviation (SD) and frequencies were determined statistically to compare the number of correct answers for each responder group. In total, 189 questionnaires were analysed. The average number of correct answers was 11.6 out of 20 (58%) for all responders. Dental students presented with the highest percentage (66%) of correct answers. Higher radiation awareness was evident among the respondents who had undertaken continued education courses. Radiation awareness among oral health care providers in South Africa needs improvement. Greater emphasis should be placed on dental radiology courses to increase the knowledge and awareness. However, there is no officially established benchmark of radiation awareness in South Africa. 


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