Introduction: COVID-19 is a highly infectious disease caused by an RNA virus belonging to a large family of coronaviruses. WHO declared COVID-19 as a public health emergency and classified it as a pandemic. Aim: The study aims to evaluate and assess knowledge with regards to COVID-19 among dental students, interns, clinicians and academics in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Methodology:A cross-sectional study was conducted among 366 dental students, interns, joint academic appointee, and full-time faculty. Data was collected using an electronic based questionnaire distributed through E-mails. Data was entered and analyzed using SPSS Version 23 with a significance value of p<0.05. Chi-square test was used to compare categorical variables.
Results: Almost all participants acquire adequate level of knowledge regarding the mode of transmission, incubation period and symptoms of COVID-19. Approximately half of the participants 205 (56%) thought that standard precautions in the dental clinics were insufficient in the management of suspected cases of COVID-19. Nearly all participants thought that elective dental treatment should be deferred, and only emergency treatment can be provided. However, there was a poor response regarding the correct survival duration of COVID-19 on plastic or stainless-steel surfaces and the use of pre-operational hydrogen peroxide mouth rinse as a method of preventing transmission.
Conclusion: This study identified areas where participants lacked the knowledge in managing COVID-19 with the best methods available especially at an undergraduate level. In order to have a more efficient and appropriate response for future pandemics, dental curriculums and educational activities should pro-actively provide training opportunities.