Formulating a Standardized Dental Record Format for Dental Surgeons in India - A Pilot Study on Dentists at Chennai and Ahmedabad
Keywords:dental records, forensics, ethics, dentolegal, patient, dentist
Background: Dental record management remains to be a much unexplored arena in forensic odontology.
While some developed countries have pre-set guidelines for their licensed dental surgeons to follow, India
lacks one such protocol. As a result, majority of dental surgeons in India do not maintain patients’ records
properly. This not only hampers the quality of dental practice, but also compromises its potential as a
valuable forensic aid.
Materials and Methods: This study is a descriptive cross-sectional study. A comprehensive case history
format was drafted for dental record management by optimizing the protocols followed by some developed
countries. The protocols were supplied to 20 dental surgeons from Chennai and Ahmedabad, who were
chosen by stratified simple random sampling. The dental surgeons were asked to follow the format for a
month and give detailed feedbacks thereafter, which were collected in feedback forms.
Results: Out of 25 participants, only 15 of them completed the study. The feedback contained both positive
and negative comments, along with some with effective suggestions. As a collective opinion, the dental
surgeons felt that the case history was too exhaustive. Though the dental surgeons unreservedly welcomed
most parts of it, some dentists had difficulties in adopting certain sections in their routine practice and rather
suggested removal or modification of those divisions.
Conclusion: The feedbacks and suggestions given by the dentists clarified the feasibility of the prepared
dental record format. However, further research on larger scales would be helpful in arriving at definite
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