IDRF's platform unites dental researchers, educators and clinicians for a common goal - the promotion and restoration of oral health and an improved understanding of oral diseases and disorders.
Academic institutions have a special role in the education of dental practitioners and it must be ensured that our educational programmes incorporate current knowledge based on the latest research advances.
At IDRF, we believe in the capability of research to change people’s well-being and health by enhancing the practice of dentistry by creating an atmosphere to research, study, think and create. We invest in innovative methods and technologies to promote the advancement of research in all areas pertaining to the oral cavity and their relation to the body as a whole. This knowledge gained via research is fundamental for the prevention and treatment of oral diseases for the benefit of public.
If you are a researcher, clinician, community/non-profit organization, government or industry aspiring to assess specific oral health needs of the population, looking to test dental products (i.e. implants, implant prosthesis, etc. or new dental materials), development of advanced biomaterials, stem cell therapies, and new drugs for dental applications (i.e. new drugs for pain control and treatments for rare diseases, stem cell therapies for salivary gland regeneration, and biomaterials for tissue regeneration); or looking for product testing we’re excited to share our experience and specialized research facilities with you.
The areas of research may include fundamental dental research, epidemiological, operational and research implementation of national importance.
IDRF advocates that research enhance the practice of dentistry. Future dental treatment and manpower needs to be linked with the changing disease patterns, socio-economic conditions and care delivery systems. IDA realizes that research is 'the silent partner in dental practice.'
The progress of dentistry as science and art is almost entirely dependent on research. We have to consider the consequences as beneficial factors of research advances, in preventing dental decay, periodontal disease, pain, craniofacial defects and infectious diseases and in developing new biomaterials and approaches (e.g., implants), to realize the positive impact that research has had and undoubtedly will continue to have, on the practice of dentistry. It is thus in the best interest not only of the IDRF but also of the profession and ultimately of the public, to ensure that dental research is fostered.
Dental research will benefit from liaisons with educators, clinicians and their professional organizations. Funding and research opportunities can be enhanced by this advocacy of research; furthermore, the scope and breadth of research may be increased and dental research manpower needs can be addressed. Not only these are the necessary steps to ensure the continued viability and advance of dental research but they are envisaging changes in dental education wherein science and research must play pivotal roles.
A major challenge is to produce graduates who can meet the changing future needs of a multi-segmented population for solutions of a variety of diseases and disorders that may be quite different from those that currently exist.
The educational process must develop in dental students as a commitment to a lifetime of learning, a capacity for synthesis of information, self-evaluation and self-learning and a critical and analytical sense stemming from a continuing exposure during the dental curriculum to scientific thought and principles, so that he or she develops more critical and skeptical approach.
IDRF adheres to this view, that the importance of research for the attainment of new knowledge and for the advancement of dentistry must also be instilled in the minds of those coming under our tutelage.
The result will be better-informed and more capable clinicians but also assure replacement of the current clinicians and current clinicians should be serving as a guiding light.
IDRF will achieve these goals by undertaking the following steps:
In order to strengthen dental education and research at all levels, we believe promotion of partnership of academia with industries and other organizations/institutes of national/regional importance like IIT, IISc, Regional Technical Institutes to increase research and innovation in oral health, dental materials, equipment and materials so as to support the “make in India movement” and cater to “Atma Nirbhar Bharat”, hence promoting self-reliance and reduce costs.
This will also facilitate strengthening interdisciplinary care for various oro-facial anomalies like cleft lip and palate with active and early involvement of dental specialists in multi-disciplinary care to reduce the disease burden. It also emphasizes need of local innovations, adaptations and manufacturing of dental equipment, instruments and consumables in India through concerted efforts under various Govt. programs and schemes.
An oral health surveillance system and/or well established oral health surveys will be established/organized to evaluate and monitor future trends of the dental caries and other oro-dental diseases and monitor progress of planned programmes. IDRF will plan appropriate programmes and provide the following services/tasks:
One of the most popular types is an online survey. With technology advancing many folds with each passing day, an online survey is becoming more popular. This survey consists of survey questions that can be easily deployed to the respondents online via email, or they can simply access the survey if they have an internet connection. These surveys are easy to design and simple to deploy. Respondents are given ample time and space to the respondent to answer these surveys, and so researchers can expect unbiased responses. They are less expensive, and data can be collected and analysed quickly.
As the name suggests, this survey uses the traditional paper and pencil approach. Many would believe that paper surveys are a thing of the past. However, they are quite handy when it comes to field research and data collection. These surveys can go where computers, laptops or other handheld devices cannot go.
Researchers conduct these over telephones. Respondents need to answer questions related to the research topic by the researcher. The success of these type of surveys depends on how many people answer the phone and want to invest their time answering questions over the telephone.
The one-to-one interview helps researchers gather information or data directly from a respondent. It’s a qualitative research method and depends on the knowledge and experience of a researcher to frame and ask relevant questions one after the other to collect meaningful insights from the interview.
These surveys are administered to a small sample from a larger population within a small time frame. This type offers a researcher a quick summary of what respondents think at that given time. These surveys are short and ready to answer and can measure opinion in one particular situation.
Longitudinal surveys are those surveys that help researchers to make an observation and collect data over an extended period. There are three main types of longitudinal studies: trend surveys, panel surveys, cohort surveys.
Trend surveys are deployed by researchers to understand the shift or transformation in the thought process of respondents over some time. They use these surveys to understand how people’s inclination change with time.
Another longitudinal survey type is a panel survey. Researchers administer these surveys to the same set or group of people over the years. Panel surveys are expensive in nature and researchers to try to stick to their panel to gather unbiased opinions.
The third type of longitudinal survey is the cohort survey. In this type, categories of people that meet specific similar criteria and characteristics form the target audience. The same people don’t need to create a group. However, people forming a group should have certain similarities.
A retrospective survey is a type of study in which respondents answer questions to report on events from the past. By deploying this kind of survey, researchers can gather data based on past experiences and beliefs of people. This way, they can save the cost and time required, unlike a longitudinal survey.