Author(s): Ahmad MS, Razak IA, Borromeo GL
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Abstract Meeting the oral health care needs of the growing population of people with special health care needs (SHCN) starts with dental students' acquisition of sound knowledge and development of clinical competence at the predoctoral level. The aim of this study was to review the level of undergraduate education in Special Needs Dentistry (SND) in Malaysian and Australian dental schools. The deans of all six Malaysian public dental schools and eight of nine Australian dental schools participated in a postal survey on current undergraduate didactic and clinical training in SND at their institutions. The results showed the number of dental schools in Malaysia with teaching in SND as a specific discipline was relatively low compared to that of Australia. However, a high percentage of Malaysian and Australian dental schools reported incorporating teaching of SND into pediatric dentistry (83.3 percent vs. 75 percent), oral medicine/oral pathology (66.7 percent vs. 75 percent), and oral surgery (66.7 percent vs. 25 percent). Most respondents said their school delivered SND clinical training in dental school clinics, hospital-based settings, and residential aged care facilities. Respondents in both countries viewed lack of faculty expertise as the greatest barrier to providing SND education. The study provides valuable information that can direct SND curriculum development in the two countries.
This article was published in J Dent Educ
and referenced in Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research