Citation Information :
Rajan S, Kuriakose S, Varghese BJ, Asharaf F, Sreedevi A. Knowledge, Attitude, and Practices of Dental Practitioners in Thiruvananthapuram on Oral Health Care for Children with Special Needs. Int J Clin Pediatr Dent 2019; 12 (4):251-254.
The objective of this study was to investigate knowledge, attitude, and practices of dental practitioners in Thiruvananthapuram, India regarding dental management of children with special healthcare needs (CSHCN).
Materials and methods: A structured questionnaire was given to 400 dental practitioners. The data were analyzed using SPSS software (version 23.0) and Chi-square test was used.
Results: The response rate was 94%. An estimated 73.8% treated children, 66.5% showed willingness to treat CSHCN, and 70.8% had attended CSHCN in their practice. A partial knowledge in dental management of CSHCN was reported by 67.5%. An estimated 36% had undergone training in special care dentistry (SCD) but 45% were not sure whether they can provide dental care with the graduate-level training. Knowledge regarding guidelines for CSHCN was known to 19.5% and that regarding timing of the first dental visit was known to 69% of participants. Tooth extraction (43.1%) and a subsequent caries treatment (39.1%) were the most frequently done procedures, and nonpharmacological management (46.5%) was the mostly used behavior management technique. Among the barriers faced by dentists in treating CSHCN, time consumption (55.6%) and lack of training (55.1%) were commonly enlisted. Further training and improved facilities would motivate the respondents in providing better care to CSHCN.
Conclusion: This study suggests that majority of the dentists participated had a partial knowledge on SCD and were willing to treat CSHCN. Insufficient training in the field of SCD was a major drawback, which prevented most general dentists from effectively managing CSHCN. Additional training and improving facilities can improve dental care to CSHCN.
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