ASSESSMENT OF KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDES, AND PRACTICES OF FORENSIC ODONTOLOGY IN SOUTH PUNJAB, PAKISTAN: A CROSS-SECTIONAL STUDY

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Dr.Yasir Naeem
Dr. Ghadah Abdullah Al Zahrani
Dr. Ali Anwer
Dr. Faisal Naeem Bandesha
Dr. Muhammad Saqib Rafique
Dr. Hamza Zia
Dr. Fatima Nadeem
Sobia Zahur Malik

Keywords

Forensic odontology, Dental record, Knowledge, Attitude, Practice, Forensic

Abstract

Objectives: This cross-sectional study assessed dental practitioners' knowledge, practices, and attitudes toward forensic odontology in South Punjab, Pakistan.


Methods: From January to March 2023, 192 dental surgeons in South Punjab participated in a cross-sectional study. A structured questionnaire collected demographic information, knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to forensic odontology. IBM Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 25.0 was used to analyse the data, and results were presented as percentages and frequencies.


Results: The study found that participants had varying knowledge about forensic odontology functionalities. While 94.2% of those who answered recognised teeth as a reliable source for DNA extraction, only 23.5% thought their current knowledge was adequate. A considerable number (88.5%) agreed that dental records can be utilised to identify dead people and suspects. Furthermore, 95.8% were interested in prescribed training to advance their forensic odontology knowledge.


Conclusions: The study concludes that while dental practitioners in South Punjab demonstrate a general awareness of the importance of dental records and teeth in forensic investigations, there is a need for targeted education and training. Findings suggest variability in practitioners' responses to child abuse recognition and reporting, emphasising the importance of more explicit guidelines. The study identifies a strong desire for further education in forensic odontology, indicating the necessity for structured programs to enhance practitioners' expertise. This study underscores the importance of continuous education and training in forensic odontology to address existing gaps in understanding and knowledge.

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