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Introduction: The field of orthodontics is an essential component of the bachelor in dental surgery program. As stated by the American Association of Orthodontics, it is defined as an area of dentistry that deals with diagnostics, prevention, interceptions, and correcting the relationships between mature or developing orofacial structures. The goals of orthodontic therapy are to improve the aesthetics of a person of which a very important component is the smile, obtain the normal or close to normal occlusion, and establish normal oral function. Due to a growing esthetic awareness among the general population orthodontics is gaining popularity as a profession. Hence dentists need to be trained well in this field to cater to the growing needs of the general population.
Objective: The aim of the survey was to find out whether the graduates that are being produced by the dental colleges of Pakistan are knowledgeable and skillful in the field of orthodontics or not.
Methods: It was a quantitative descriptive survey carried out in 2018. The questionnaire was developed with the help of an orthodontic expert following the American, European, Canadian, and Australian competencies and piloted before being used for the actual research process. Students who had recently graduated were the target population. Informed consent was obtained from each student before handing them the questionnaire. 33 students in total participated in the study.
Results:33 surveys were returned. The questionnaire was divided into knowledge, skills, and attitude portion. For the knowledge part, the majority of graduates felt underconfident and were felt they were not well versed theoretically. In the skills portion, the most common answers were either not confident or fairly confident revealing that students again did not have again enough confidence in their skills and the majority had done either very little or no patients in their final year. For the attitude section, the majority of students were not interested in taking orthodontic as their subject of post-graduation since they did not feel very confident about it.
Conclusion: The results of the survey identified the lags in the final year BDS curriculum especially when it came to orthodontics. Serious consideration needs to be given to training students in the particular field so the dental graduates are confident and skilled in all fields of dentistry when they pass out.
Fresh dental graduate, Knowledge, Skill, Attitude