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India needs a boost in dental research: AIIMS dental chief

India needs a boost in dental research: AIIMS dental chief

New Delhi: Dental researchers from across 16 countries gathered in the national capital to discuss ways to create a research temper and boost quality research to suit Indian and global needs.

The Indian Society for Dental Research in collaboration with the Centre for Dental Education and Research, AIIMS organised  the 30th annual conference from September 30- October 2.

The conference themed ‘Research to reality’ witnessed participation of around 500 international and national dental researchers and experts, said O P Kharbanda, Chief of the Centre for Dental Education and Research, AIIMS.

He is also the president of the Indian Society for Dental Research.

“India has the largest number of dental schools in the world with over 300 such institutes. However, the research in the dental area is minuscule. It needs a boost.

“India has a great potential for inter-disciplinary research which can change the way we treat dental diseases by providing regeneration capabilities of the dental tissues. The current practices are mainly limited to provisions of replacement of lost structures with artificial materials,” Kharbanda said.

He said oral health has a significant impact on systemic health. The high prevalence of oral and dental diseases coupled with a low level of awareness for maintenance further aggravates the situation.

The researchers deliberated on nanotechnology applications in dental health which will help to create dental feelings to mimic like natural tooth materials.

“At present, most dental materials are imported in India as we hardly manufacture such materials here which requires innovation, skill and technology intervention,” Kharbanda said.

According to AIIMS Director, Randeep Guleria, oral diseases and systemic conditions have a bidirectional relationship.

“Hence it is imperative to sensitize the population on this aspect and conduct further research to establish irrefutable evidence,” Guleria said.

India had ranked 12th in the list of countries publishing the most number of research papers, according to the International Dental Journal in 2013.

“However, the quality of these papers has drastically dropped and most papers are rarely cited. Also, 85 percent of the rural population are attended to by 15 percent of the available dentists, aptly labeled the law of inverse care.

“There is a disparity in the needs versus available services. It also raises questions on the quality of oral health research in India, a challenging task that needs to be addressed at the earliest,” Kharbanda stated.

Source: PTI
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