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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 66-70

Factors affecting the right and left discrimination ability among dental students

1 Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Mangalore, Karnataka, India
2 Manipal, Manipal University, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Manuel Sebastian Thomas
Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Mangalore, Manipal University, Light House Hill Road, Mangalore - 575 001, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-7761.136047

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Background: Right-left confusion in dental practice may lead to iatrogenic mishaps and thus can be of serious concern with respect to the patient care. Hence, the purpose of this study was to assess the right-left discrimination (RLD) ability among dental students. The study aims to determine the relation of various factors that can affect the students' discriminating ability. Materials and Methods: All consented dental students from first year to fourth year were asked to mention their gender, course year, and handedness. They were also asked to record their perceived discriminatory ability on a five-point Likert scale and to mention the use of any method to aid in right-left discrimination. Modified Bergen test was used to determine the ability of the participants to differentiate right from left. The test had three subsections - all figures viewed from front, from back, and alternating views from back and front. The values obtained were statistically analysed. Results: There was no significant difference in the RLD ability between males (43.25 ± 4.52) and females (42.12 ± 4.53). Even the discriminatory ability had no significant association with students' clinical exposure. Students who used learnt technique for differentiation had significantly lower scores (41.95 ± 4.58) than those without any technique (43.40 ± 4.30). Conclusion: There was no significant association between gender and clinical exposure in the right-left discrimination ability among the dental students. Students who did not use any technique to aid them in differentiating right and left performed better than those who used some technique. Right-left confusion was more in situations where mental rotation was required.

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