Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology
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PRESIDENTíS MESSAGE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 126  

Clinical training in periodontology - The undergraduate scenario


President, Indian Society of Periodontology, Professor and Head, Department of Periodontology, A B Shetty Memorial Institute of Dental Sciences, Mangalore, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication23-Apr-2015

Correspondence Address:
Biju Thomas
President, Indian Society of Periodontology, Professor and Head, Department of Periodontology, A B Shetty Memorial Institute of Dental Sciences, Mangalore, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-124X.155711

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How to cite this article:
Thomas B. Clinical training in periodontology - The undergraduate scenario. J Indian Soc Periodontol 2015;19:126

How to cite this URL:
Thomas B. Clinical training in periodontology - The undergraduate scenario. J Indian Soc Periodontol [serial online] 2015 [cited 2021 Jul 28];19:126. Available from: https://www.jisponline.com/text.asp?2015/19/2/126/155711










An oft-repeated statement among the practicing periodontists in the country is that the general dental practitioners are largely ignorant about the various periodontal diseases and their management. We conducted a survey among the dental practitioners in our area to assess their knowledge about the diagnosis and management of periodontal diseases and the results were disappointing. It is a fact that many of the dental practitioners have only a very limited knowledge about the various treatment options available in the specialty of periodontics.

Reason for this unfortunate scenario can be traced partly to the curriculum that we follow in the dental colleges. The current undergraduate syllabus is rather unappealing for the graduates. It proposes 70 h theory with 240 h of clinical training, but no effort is made to integrate theory with the clinical setup. The Dental Council of India curriculum proposes diagnosis, treatment planning, and discussion including total periodontal treatment of 25 cases, with oral prophylaxis of 50 cases and assistance in 5 cases of periodontal surgery, but even this is not being completely followed.

In 2010, a workshop to streamline and standardize the undergraduate and postgraduate curriculum in the country formulated guidelines for the BDS curriculum. It recommended some preclinical exposure for the students along with a preclinical department examination before a patient contact is allowed. The students should be able to observe all surgical procedures, and an exposure to the existing concepts of perio-systemic interrelationship should be taught at the BDS level. An entry level exposure to implantology and lasers is desired as also a mandatory stint on basic life support. There should also be an emphasis on management of tobacco-related conditions considering the widespread prevalence of tobacco-related oral diseases.

Decades back in many of the dental colleges in the country a minor surgical procedure like gingivectomy was part of the university clinical examination, however, over a period of time the surgical exercise was deleted and only oral prophylaxis was performed as part of the clinical examination. As a result, the students who completed their graduation (BDS) did not have a sound knowledge about the various surgical procedures carried out in the specialty. This led to the situation wherein they were unable to manage various periodontal disease conditions or even to diagnose them and refer them to the periodontist.

It is a heartening fact that to correct this scenario many of the dental colleges have instituted sound clinical training programs for the interns. Interns are being encouraged to assist and observe surgical cases being done by the faculty and post graduate students. They should also be allowed to do minor surgical cases independently and present the cases in Interdepartmental interns meetings and later publish them. They should be motivated to take up cases on lasers and implants.

A good clinical training as above will help to improve the quality, scope, and understanding of periodontics as a specialty. This will also help to motivate the interns to take up periodontics for their master's program. Overall it will help to better the periodontal treatment protocols in general dental practice for the betterment of the patients and improve the status of periodontics as a specialty.




 

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