Background: Dentists are required to prescribe various drugs to their patients in their routine clinical practice. Hence, they are expected to have adequate knowledge of Pharmacology in general, and Dental Pharmacology specifically. However, it is generally seen and has been reported that because of the vastness of curriculum, special attention to Dental Pharmacology is not given, either during teaching or during learning by the students. Hence a need was felt to conduct a study to analyze the present status of knowledge of Dental Pharmacology amongst BDS students and their perceptions towards the current scenario of training in Dental Pharmacology according to the present curriculum. Materials and Methods: After obtaining necessary permissions, a pre-validated self-administered Questionnaire proforma was distributed to four batches (II year, III year, Final year BDS and interns) of a Dental institution in Pune. Data gathered from the completed proformas was sorted, tabulated and analyzed using descriptive statistics. Result: Out of the 310 students approached, 245 students participated in the study. Average score of accurately answered questions to assess the knowledge of Pharmacology amongst students was 5.71 (out of 8). Majority of the students agreed that Pharmacology was an important subject; however they felt the need of its integration with clinical scenarios and subjects. More than 85% participants thought that recent advances must be included in Pharmacology curriculum which is being taught. Most of them agreed that due to lack of reinforcement, there was an attrition of knowledge in Dental Pharmacology through the year of BDS training. Conclusion: There seems to be moderate knowledge of Dental Pharmacology amongst the Undergraduate Dental students, however need of specific attention to dental pharmacology, incorporating new advances in the field as well as an integrated approach in training in the subject has been felt by the students.
Keywords: Pharmacology; Perception; Teaching-Learning; Dental education