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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 76-81

Geographic disproportions in dental workforce distribution and its impact on oral disease burden: An Indian perspective

1 Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, SRM Dental College and Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Ragas Dental College and Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Krishnan Padminee
Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, SRM Dental College and Hospital, Ramapuram, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/srmjrds.srmjrds_79_19

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Introduction: Dental workforce planning depends on the consumers need or demand and availability or supply of dental care. Dental workforce planning is commonly based on three methods that include dentist population ratios, demand-based models and need based models. Although the production of dentists has exponentially risen in the last decade, the oral disease burden does not seem to be reduced. Materials and Methods: Data regarding population census, number of registered dentists under Dental Council of India, number of government dentists, and disability-adjusted life years (DALY) measures for overall oral disease burden, Dental caries in deciduous and permanent teeth, edentulousness, periodontal disease, and other dental diseases for each state in India were collected from different sources and subjected to descriptive statistics. Association between dental workforce and DALY of oral disease burden was assessed using Pearson's correlation coefficient with P set at 5%. Results: The dentist population ratio ranged from 1:1000 to 1:20,000 in different states of India. The DALY of oral disease burden ranged from 250 to 350. Pearson's correlation showed no association between dental workforce distribution and oral disease burden (P = 0.084). Conclusion: Dental workforce and the conspicuous geographical imbalance associated with it solely do not contribute to the oral disease burden in India. Need-based workforce planning along with optimal resource allocation in terms of material and funds might unlatch the barriers faced by the disadvantaged population with grave dental needs.

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