Attitude toward Public Health Dentistry as a career among dental students in Odisha: A Cross‑sectional study

Nupur Sharma, Kittu Jain, Soumik Kabasi


Background: Knowledge of dental students’ expectations of their profession as well as their attitudes to study a particular specialty of dentistry is of great importance. These attitudes and expectations make studying dentistry meaningful to dental students and society and understanding

these factors facilitate workforce planning in the dental sector The aim of the study was to assess

the attitude of dental students towards considering Public Health Dentistry as their future career.

Materials and Methods: A questionnaire‑based, cross‑sectional survey was conducted, which included the 3rd year, 4th fourth year and dental interns studying in the State of Odisha. It consisted of 27 questions that were graded on 5‑point Likert scale. The responses for the attitude questions toward selecting Public Health Dentistry for postgraduation were categorized into three factors,

which are a negative attitude (includes score 0–21), neutral attitude (score 22–44), and positive attitude (score 45–64). Differences between groups were examined using Chi‑square test for proportions. The level of statistical significance was set at P < 0.05.

Results: Among 886 respondents, 302 (34.08%) were males and 584 (65.91%) were females. One‑third (33.52%) of them had a positive attitude toward selecting public health dentistry as their future career, and nearly two‑third of them (58.23%) had neutral attitude, with very few students having a negative attitude (8.23%) toward the specialty for pursuing postgraduation.

Conclusion: Respondents had a considerable amount of interest in pursuing postgraduation in this specialty. Efforts should be intensified, both by the dental council and by the dental colleges, to develop this specialty, keeping in mind the increasing attitude of dental undergraduates toward it.

Key Words: Attitude, career choice, dental students, Public Health Dentistry

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