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Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig 2016, 67(3): 315-320

Perception of dental practitioners regarding the use of antioxidants in oral health.
[Perception of dental practitioners regarding the use of antioxidants in oral health.]

R.K. Randhawa, N. Gupta, M. Bansal, V. Arora, P. Grupta, S. Thakar

ABSTRACT
Background. Free radicals play a key role in the development of several pathological conditions. Therefore, antioxidants (AOs) are the first line of defense against free radical damage and are critical for maintaining optimum health and wellbeing.
Objectives: To assess the perception of dental practitioners regarding use of antioxidants in oral health.
Method. A cross-sectional questionnaire study was conducted among 296 dental practitioners in Tricity (Chandigarh, Mohali, Panchkula, India). A self-structured close-ended questionnaire was used to assess the perception of dentists regarding the use of antioxidants in their patients. It consisted of 12 questions with dichotomous response and five point likert scale ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the data, followed by the Chi-square test to check significant differences between the responses. Correlation between responses were analysed through the Spearman’s rank correlation. Statistical analysis was done using Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 20 (Illinois, Chicago, USA).
Results. A statistically significant difference was observed between genders, with females 181 (61%) having more knowledge than males 115 (39%) regarding the use of antioxidants in their clinical practice. It has been found that dental professionals in academics prescribes more antioxidants to their patients than the private practitioners. Postgraduates 76 (77.6%) had a higher level of knowledge than graduates 86 (43%).
Conclusions. Knowledge about antioxidants should be highlighted in the health sciences curriculum. It is recommended to expand the use of antioxidants in oral health to bring down the burden of chronic diseases like periodontitis and catastrophic diseases like precancerous lesions and oral cancer.

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