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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 13-17

Dental schools in the Republic of India: A geographic and population analysis of their distribution

International Research Collaborative - Oral Health and Equity, Anatomy, Physiology and Human Biology, The University of Western Australia, Nedlands, 6009, Western Australia

Correspondence Address:
Estie Kruger
International Research Collaborative - Oral Health and Equity, The University of Western Australia, Nedlands, 6009
Western Australia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2231-6027.151614

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Purpose/Objectives : India is the seventh largest country (3 million square kilometers) and the second most populous (1.2 billion people) country of the world. Dental education in India has expanded greatly, now having the highest number of dental schools in the world (nearly 300). Graduate numbers have increased rapidly from 1300 in the early 1960s to 26,000 in the early 2000s. Against this background, the aim of this study was to undertake a detailed state-by-state analysis of dental school distribution and compare it with populations to enhance our understanding of dental education in India. Materials and Methods: The complete list of all the Indian dental schools was obtained as of June 2012. The addresses were cross-checked with the official websites of each dental school geocoded using Google maps and compared with the census population data. Results: A substantial range in population to school and population to annual graduate number was found between states from a high of just over 100 graduated per million people in Chandigarh down to zero in 10 states. In five states, 75% or more of the population lived further than 40 km from a dental school while at the other extreme in Chandigarh and Delhi, no one lived more than 20 km away. Conclusion: The immediate amelioration of supply issues (access for dental care) at a national level requires effective steps to "redirect workforce" toward areas of need to reduce the disparity in workforce distribution. This will require the collaborative efforts of many areas of government.

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