Research | Published:

Oral piercings and their complications – how confident are we as a profession?

BDJ volume 224, pages 887895 (08 June 2018) | Download Citation

Subjects

Key points

  • Educates the reader about the prevalence of oral piercings and their complications.

  • Discusses the types of complications associated with oral piercings.

  • Updates the reader about the legislation and legal requirements regarding oral piercings.

  • Provides an example of a patient information leaflet that can be used when discussing oral piercing complications with patients.

Abstract

Introduction

The prevalence of oral piercings in the UK is increasing. Consequently, the dental profession is encountering an increasing number of complications associated with piercings. Providing patient preventative advice regarding piercing complications is important, however the level of advice offered by UK dentists is currently unknown.

Aims

The aim of this survey was to establish the current knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of dentists regarding advice provided to patients with oral piercings.

Methods

A questionnaire was sent to 200 dentists across Wales with questions regarding perceived confidence in providing advice, type of advice provided, the sources dentists use to acquire knowledge and the perceived need for further professional information.

Results

Fifty-three dentists responded. Only 24.5% were very confident discussing piercing complications. The advice provided varied markedly, with the majority (73.6%) reporting they had acquired knowledge through experience alone. Only one dentist reported providing written information and 83% responded that they would like to have access to printed information directed at patients.

Conclusions

The results of this survey suggest that dental professionals are not fully confident discussing risks and preventative advice with patients. To address this, patient information leaflets have been developed to encourage dentists to discuss complications associated with oral piercings with patients.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the 1000 Lives Wales team for help distributing the survey and designing the information leaflet.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Morriston Hospital, Restorative Dentistry, Heol Maes Eglwys, Morriston, Swansea, SA6 6NL, United Kingdom

    • E. M. King
    •  & P. Brown
  2. Oral Surgery, Prince Charles Hospital, Merthyr Tydfil, CF47 9DT, United Kingdom

    • E. Brewer

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to E. M. King.

About this article

Publication history

Accepted

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.bdj.2018.435