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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 18  |  Page : 208-212

Knowledge and perceptions of dental practitioners towards their geriatric patients


1 Reader, Dept. of Public Health Dentistry, Rishiraj College of Dental Sciences and Research Centre, Bhopal, M.P, India
2 Asst Professor, Dept. of Periodontics, Rishiraj College of Dental Sciences and Research Centre, Bhopal, M.P, India
3 Former Principal, M.S. Ramaiah Dental College and Hospital, Bengaluru, India
4 Professor and Head, Dept. of Preventive and Community Dentistry, M.S. Ramaiah Dental College and Hospital, Bengaluru, India

Correspondence Address:
B R Chinmaya
Reader, Dept. of Public Health Dentistry, Rishiraj College of Dental Sciences and Research Centre, Bhopal, M.P
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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Background: The elderly population in India has been growing steadily since the last century. Certainly, the improving living conditions, advances in medicine and the biomedical sciences have been major factors in the increase of life expectancy. It is known that good oral health is a critical factor in maintaining general health which is no exception in older people. Despite this, geriatric oral health has not been regarded as important in our country. Objectives: Hence the objective of this study was to explore the private dental practitioners' knowledge and perceptions about aging, psycho-social influencers and oral health care of their geriatric patients. Methods: This is a descriptive study based on a questionnaire. The questionnaire consists of 30 structured questions about the aging, health problems of older people and social concerns that may influence the oral health care requirements of elderly patients. It was conducted among randomly selected 200 private dental practitioners in the Bangalore city. Results: The results showed that the 55% of the practitioners have moderate to high correct response rate regarding the knowledge of aging. 80-90% of practitioners believe that transportation, financial and family problems are the top three barriers in causing the older patients to miss their appointments. Existence of a serious illness is the major mental health factor which influences the oral health of older adults. Being independent is the major physical factor influencing the oral health and among the social factors isolation is the most influential. Conclusion: The knowledge regarding aging was found to be moderate among the dental practitioners. The results indicate a need to include geriatric dentistry in curriculum.


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