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Oral Health Dent Manag. 2014 Mar;13(1):20-6.

Utilization of mobile dental vans at post graduate dental institutions in India.

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  • 1Reader, Department of Public Health Dentistry, Sri Aurobindo College of Dentistry, Ujjain-Indore Highway, Bhawrasala post, Indore, (MP), - 452555, India, Tel: (+91)-7869444484; e-mail:



Mobile Dental Van (MDV) removes the barrier of accessibility and improves the care of underserved populations. Dental institutions across India, providing postgraduate training in dental public health organize and conduct MDV programs as part of their curriculum.


To describe the structure, conduct and utilization of MDV programs in consideration to duration of use by the academic institutions for oral health care delivery in rural areas.


Hundred postgraduates in Public Health Dentistry representing 27 dental institutions of India completed a 40 item questionnaire on MDV program and utilization. Descriptive statistics and Fisher's exact test were used for statistical analysis.


The mobile dental van programs were more curative with limited orientation towards preventive services. The institutionally sponsored programs with experience of more than 10 years had better organized setup and adequate emergency management system together with electricity, water and storage facilities. Chair side assistants were employed in 90 percent of newer programs compared to only 50 percent of older programs. Dental hygienists were helping the dentists in only 60 percent of programs.


The utilization of MDV in treating rural underserved is indispensable, but revenue and high productivity is difficult to achieve as lower socioeconomic patients are predominantly served. MDV programs operational in postgraduate institutions have to improvise on correcting the shortcomings regarding the facilities and manpower to improve the utilization of the programs.

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