Identifying barriers that affect medical doctors’ learning of dental trauma

Thai Yeng, Anthony J O’Sullivan, Boaz Shulruf


It is important that medical doctors are familiar with the management of emergency dental trauma before referring a patient to a dentist. Correct diagnosis and treatment techniques are essential for a predictable and optimal long-term prognosis.

The aim is to identify and categorize statements from the literature related to barriers (factors that hinder learning) on dental trauma for medical doctors.

The authors reviewed ten papers pertaining to medical doctors’ knowledge of dental trauma and identify some common barriers to learning.

The barriers identified were classified as internal (factors associated with the learner) or external (factors associated with the learning environment). Internal barriers negatively impact learners and may cause medical doctors to lose enthusiasm or interest in the subject. External barriers, on the other hand, often arise from within the university or teaching hospital and may affect medical students’ and doctors’ theoretical learning of dental trauma or hamper their clinical experience.

From a limited body of literature, this report has identified some common barriers that affect doctors’ learning of dental trauma. Consequently, to further investigate the relevance of these barriers and their impact on dental trauma learning, a systematic review in this area is indicated.
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