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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 108-113

Special care dentistry: Knowledge and attitudes among Indian dental students

1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Manav Rachna Dental College, Faridabad, Haryana, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Shivam Kapoor
Room No. 604, Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences, MAMC Complex, BSZ Marg, New Delhi - 110 002
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jiaphd.jiaphd_206_18

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Background: Special care dentistry (SCD) includes the provision of oral care for individuals with any disability or impairment. Published studies have reported poor oral health and quality of life. Providing quality treatment to the disabled population requires essential knowledge acquired by additional training. Objectives: The study aimed to explore the preparedness of dental students in Delhi to manage patients with special needs. Material and Methods: A cross-sectional survey was carried out in December 2017, among 117 students of a tertiary care government dental hospital in Delhi. A questionnaire was developed using literature and previously administered surveys to assess knowledge, attitude, and institutional provisions pertaining to special care patients. Validity and reliability testing was carried out. Data were subjected to appropriate statistical measures and analyzed using SPSS version 22 (P < 0.05). Results: The study sample included postgraduate students (28.3%), undergraduate students (47.8%), and interns (23.9%). All of them felt that some special precautions are to be taken while treating a patient with special needs, whereas only half considered SCD as a different specialty. The majority (60%) were unaware regarding the availability of any special equipment for the disabled. However, they had some idea regarding the institutional provisions for special care patients. Conclusions: This survey reported positive attitude and comfort levels among dental students toward special care patients. However, there is an urgent need for professional associations to reorient dental curriculum with regard to SCD and train students appropriately.

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