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ORIGINAL RESEARCH Table of Contents   
Year : 2008  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 104-108
Knowledge and attitudes of pharmacists regarding oral health care and oral hygiene products in Chennai city


Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry, Ragas Dental College and Hospital, 2/102, East Coast Road, Uthandi, Chennai - 600 119, India

Correspondence Address:
P D Madan Kumar
Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry, Ragas Dental College and Hospital, 2/102, East Coast Road, Uthandi, Chennai - 600 119
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0970-9290.40462

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Objectives : This study was done to find out the knowledge and attitudes of pharmacists regarding oral health care and oral hygiene products in Chennai city. Materials and Methods : A cross-sectional survey among a sample of the pharmacists in Chennai city was done and data regarding their knowledge and attitudes towards oral health care and oral hygiene products were obtained using a closed-ended questionnaire. Results: Among the 60 pharmacies approached, 50 pharmacists participated in the study and completed the questionnaire. Though 48% of the participants gave a positive answer when asked whether they had met the dentist practicing close to their pharmacies, the frequency with which they met the dentist ranged from once a week (24%) to once a month (28%). Most of the pharmacists stocked oral health-related products, which comprised 15-25% of their total stock. Of these products toothpaste was the most common (62%), followed by mouth rinses (12%). Toothache or painful teeth was the most common dental problem (78%) for which patients approached the pharmacists for advice. With regard to the advice given, 38.5% of the pharmacists asked the patient to consult a nearby dentist after dispensing medications, while 22.4% of the pharmacists dispensed antibiotics and painkillers without any referral. Seventy percent of the pharmacists expressed interest in giving oral health care advice to patients. However, many of them (38%) felt that lack of proper knowledge is a barrier to providing oral health care advice. Conclusion : It is clear from the present study that pharmacists are presently an underutilized resource, and there is a definitive need to improve their training and access to information on available dental services.


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