Dental sealants have proved to be an effective approach to prevent pit and fissure caries. This study examines the knowledge, opinion, values and practice (KOVP) of dental hygienists concerning sealant use in the southwest region of Andalusia, Spain.
Spanish dental hygienists (n = 400) volunteered to complete a 31-item, self-administered, pretested questionnaire to assess their knowledge, opinion, values and practice regarding pit and fissure sealants. Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed ranks test, the Friedman nonparametric repeated-measures anova and Spearman’s correlation were used to analyse the data.
The mean scores for knowledge, opinion, values and practice were 3.57 ± 0.41; 2.17 ± 0.42; 2.58 ± 0.77 and 3.56 ± 0.46, respectively. Knowledge differed by years of experience (P < 0.01) and place of work (P < 0.01); opinion differed by years of experience (P = 0.03) and sector (P < 0.01). Similarly, practice about sealants differed by years of experience (P < 0.01). Conversely, values around sealant placement did not statistically differ by sex, years of experience, practice sector or place of work. Statistically, significant correlations were found between knowledge, opinion and value, while it was found no significant correlation between practice and the other variables (P > 0.05).
Most dental hygienists have sufficient knowledge about pit and fissure sealants. They also acknowledge the importance of use of dental sealants and have positive opinion/attitude about using sealants. Practice of dental sealants in clinics was found adequate. However, they were not following the specific guidelines and standardized procedures.