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Young dentists in India are currently facing a tough situation because of a sudden mushrooming of private dental colleges in India that has greatly increased the number of dentists. While the overall ratio of dentists to the country’s population is still low, these dentists seem to be packed into the larger cities rather than spreading out across the nation.
Their problems are also compounded by the fact that they often graduate from colleges that do not provide them with a basic minimum set of skills required to survive in the world. They are then left to pursue additional courses to just learn what they should have in their college years.
Here are a few clinical skills that are essential for the young dentists in India to master if they are planning to pursue clinical practice.
In a country like India, where the large majority of dental treatment is still curative rather than preventative, making sure that you are adept in the procedure of tooth extraction is absolutely essential.
Now, here is the thing. Most dental colleges will start off by teaching students about easy extractions. These are extractions that involve mobile teeth and while you may get some cases like that in your practice, most of them will not be this easy. The next step above is extracting single rooted teeth that are non-mobile. These should also not be too difficult but they do require an understanding of the basic principles of extractions. Then come the multi-rooted teeth, which can be much more of a challenge.
The last subset of complicated tooth extraction procedures is often reserved for oral surgery postgraduate students and so a large majority of students never get to learn them at all. This involves the extraction of teeth that are fractured, root stumps, root canal treated teeth and wisdom teeth extractions.
A lot of this last set may also require knowing procedures like elevating a surgical flap, bone cutting and giving stitches to close up the wound.
Make sure that as a student you learn these procedures or if you have already passed out then ensure you learn these before you start your own practice. There are too many instances of students getting into situations that they cannot handle or getting stuck in between procedures that can lead to embarrassment, loss of credibility and even lawsuits in the worst case scenarios.
Root Canal Procedure
A root canal procedure is a complicated procedure that requires precision, practice and a lot of teaching. Traditionally, in most dental colleges in India, this procedure is not taught to dental students until they are in their year of internship. This is the time when they spend an extended period of time in each of department of dentistry learning only clinical skills.
A paucity of proper infrastructure, lack of adequate teachers and an increased number of postgraduate students can mean that a lot of students finish internship without actually ever getting to a single root canal.
The most that these students learn is a theoretical knowledge about what the procedure involves or some basic exercises on extracted teeth.