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Volume 4 , Issue 3
Fall 2020

Pages 227236

Evaluation of knowledge related to orthodontics and aligners among the dental undergraduates of a regional dental school in Madhya Pradesh, India

Tarulatha Shyagali/Pushparaj Kesharwani/Tanvee Tiwari/Ruchi Jha

Objective: To assess the knowledge of the undergraduate dental students of the regional dental school in Madhya Pradesh, India, about orthodontics and aligners.

Methods and materials: A questionnaire-based cross-sectional study was conducted on 170 dental undergraduates at a regional dental school. All the participants were asked to complete a structured questionnaire comprising 12 questions over three main domains: future practice plans, interest in orthodontics and aligner therapy, and confidence diagnosing orthodontic cases. Descriptive statistics and a chi-square test were performed to determine the difference in response between the different student year groups.

Results: Approximately 65% of first- to fourth-year students planned to use both fixed braces and aligners in future practice to treat orthodontic cases, in comparison with either treatment method alone. Around 83% of third-year students felt that the dental school curriculum should incorporate more training on aligners. Approximately 75% of fourth-year students felt that both traditional and aligner therapy are efficient. Over 50% of students in all years thought that traditional braces produce better occlusal contact than aligners. Approximately 50% of first- to fourth-year students stated that braces are more economical than aligners, but that aligners are more comfortable than traditional braces. Most of the student participants were somewhat confident about diagnosing dental and skeletal malocclusion. Many of the differences were found to be statistically significant.

Conclusion: The present group of dental students displayed moderate knowledge about aligners but were not sufficiently confident to diagnose skeletal and dental malocclusions. This demonstrates the need to modify the current orthodontic curriculum.

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