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Dental Students and Patients with a Communicable Infectious Disease: Any Alteration in the Relationship?

Objective: To determine if there is an alteration in the medical relation between dental students and patients with a communicable infectious disease (PCID), compared to patients without. Study design: A questionnaire focused on points such as stress, care, formation and knowledge, when taking care of a PCID. Participants: 111 of 226 clinician students in dentistry of the Strasbourg University Hospital (HUS), France, responded. Results: The stress of students increases while treating a PCID. As students go by in their study, they seem to feel less stress in these situations. 63.1% of them are unlikely to follow the care of a PCID and only 39.6% of the students keep the same concentration on their dental procedures while treating a PCID. Dental students are respectively 47.7%, 25.2% and 16.2% to know the occupational risk of transmission for HIV, HCV and HBV following a percutaneous accident during a dental procedure. Conclusion: There is an alteration in the relationship between dental students and PCID, leading to ethical issues. Too many dental students still fear taking care of PCID while standard precautions protect them. The more informed students are about the diseases and their own protection, the more serenely they seem to handle the care. Thus, hygiene, security, microbiology and ethics have an important role to play in the formation of the next generation of dentists, and should be teached at early stages of their studies.


Damien Offner, Laurie-Anne Munch, Anne-Marie Musset

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