Introduction: To assess the knowledge and extent of WhatsApp usage for dentistry related purposes among general dental practitioners (GDPs).

Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 105 randomly selected GDPs from Pune, Maharashtra, India. Data was collected in a personalized manner by means of validated questionnaire.

Results and observations: A total of 105 dentists participated in the survey: 96.19% of dentists had WhatsApp installed in their phones; 67.32% of dentists sought second opinion on WhatsApp; 60.29% of dentists received prompt replies, while 38.23% received late replies; 98.52% of dentists sent clinical photographs and radiographs for second opinion. 88.11% of dentists were a part of various ‘dentistry related groups’ and 72.27% of dentists told that patients ask their queries on WhatsApp. 36.76% of GDPs obtained verbal consent from the patients for sending clinical materials for second opinion. Majority of population of GDPs 63.23% (43) did not obtain any form of consent from the patients.

Conclusion: Majority of GDPs uses WhatsApp for ‘dentistry related purposes’ and it has become an integral part of their day-to-day practice. GDPs should obtain written consent before sending clinical materials for second opinion.

Clinical significance: Till date, the extent of WhatsApp usage by general dental practitioners was not reported in the literature. It appears that, WhatsApp application has become an integral part of general dental practice in India. By virtue of this, obtaining second opinion, taking appointments and solving queries of patients are no longer a time consuming events. In future, instant messaging services might play major role in providing efficient services in health care industry.

Keywords: Dentistry; General dental practice; Second Opinion; WhatsApp

How to cite this article: Sarode SC, Sarode GS, Gaikwad T, Patekar D, Gadbail A, Gondivkar S, Panta P, Patil S. Usage Analysis of Whatsapp for Dentistry-related Purposes among General Dental Practitioners. The Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice, October 2018;19(10):1267-1272.

Source of support: Nil

Conflict of interest: None