Knowledge, attitudes and practices of dentists from Anápolis-GO on phytotherapy in dentistry

INTRODUCTION: Despite the expansion of complementary and integrative health practices in Brazil, there are few studies related to the use of phytotherapy in dentistry.OBJECTIVE: To investigate the knowledge, attitudes and practices of dentists on phytotherapy in clinical practice.MATERIAL AND METHOD: A cross-sectional study was carried out with a group of 105 dentists working as clinicians in the public and private service in the city of Anápolis-GO (response rate = 52.5% of the 200 professionals invited) who answered a questionnaire.RESULT: About 16% of respondents said they had theoretical background about phytotherapy and half of them reported having had this subject during the undergraduate programe. Although more than half of dentists (61.9%) have considered that the insertion of phytotherapy in clinical practice is feasible, only a few reported prescribing them (12.4%), or questioning, during the consultation, if their patients were having phytotherapy (36.2%). Regarding the dentists' opinions regarding the factors that hinder the inclusion of phytotherapy in the dental practice, the most frequent were lack of knowledge, lack of research and lack of information. Most of them had no knowledge on the legislation regarding phytotherapy and this was associated with its use in clinical practice (p<0.05).CONCLUSION: Dental surgeons investigated in this study showed deficiencies in knowledge, little application and favorable attitudes towards the use of phytotherapy in clinical practice, but a shift in the academic and professional training is required for an appropriate support for its use.