Year : 2016  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 128-134

Knowledge of dental ethics and jurisprudence among dental practitioners in Chennai, India: A cross-sectional questionnaire study

Department of Public Health Dentistry, Thai Moogambigai Dental College and Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. R Kesavan
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Thai Moogambigai Dental College and Hospital, Golden George Nagar, Mogappair, Chennai - 600 107, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0975-8844.195915

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Introduction: Ethics is a science of ideal human character and behavior in situations where the distinction should be made between what is right and wrong. Dental jurisprudence is a set of legal regulations set forth by each state's legislature describing the legal limitations and regulations related to the practice of dentistry. Objectives: (1) To assess the dental practitioners' awareness about dentists (Code of Ethics) regulation and jurisprudence. (2) To assess the awareness of dentists regarding Consumer Protection Act (COPRA) and its implications in dentistry. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire survey was conducted. A pilot study was conducted to validate the questionnaire and to get the required sample size which was 346. A specially designed questionnaire consisting of 24 close-ended questions divided into two sections was used. The resulting data were coded, and statistical analysis was done using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software version 17.0. Results: The results showed that about 65% of the dentists were aware that the Dentist Act was given in the year 1948 and 76% knew that the dentists (Code of Ethics) regulation was given by the Dental Council of India. Only 33% knew that it is not unethical for a dental surgeon to supply or sell drugs related to dentistry in his clinic. Only 31% responded correctly that it is not necessary to obtain informed consent for clinical examination and routine radiography. Nearly, half of the respondents (43%) were not aware of professional indemnity insurance. Conclusion: The study concludes that majority of the dental practitioners are aware of dental ethics but their knowledge on jurisprudence and COPRA needs to be enriched. Although recommendations can be made to the dental profession to alter their behavior, real improvement is unlikely without changes in legislation and social policy.

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