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Review Article

Disaster management: Role of dental professionals

Ramandeep Singh Gambhir, Daljit Kapoor, Gurminder Singh, Gurjashan Sawhney, Saniya Setia.

Natural or man made catastrophic events place great manpower demands on communities and their health care and public health systems. This calls for ever preparedness on the part of the health care workers. Dentists are not perceived as much of help in case of any disaster event. Although the first responders are primarily looked upon for in case of any disaster response; if called upon dentists can be a source of vital support in medical surge events. Dentists and dental auxiliaries can augment the existing medical professionals, in responding to a declared medical emergency. Dentists are exposed to information in many general medical areas during their pre-doctoral education that can be useful in disaster response situations. Dentists have the clinical skills and medical knowledge that are invaluable assets in a mass casualty event. Dentists can be given the opportunity with additional targeted training to become more effective responders to natural disasters and other catastrophic events. Inculcating disaster training in the undergraduate and post graduate curriculum will better prepare the dentist for any surge event. The present article explores the various duties which dental professionals can play in a major public health disaster.

Key words: Bioterrorism; Dentists; Disaster; Response

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