Maharashtra: A dental policy to save teeth and cost in the pipeline
Mumbai: Members of the Maharashtra State Dental Council (MSDC), are pondering over the proposal of a preventive dental health policy, aimed at reducing occurrence of the most common tooth ailments like dental caries and periodontal diseases.
The policy will be the first of its kind framed with the aim of improving neglected dental health at a minimal annual cost; the price of which is yet to be fixed
Dr. Mansingh Pawar, Council President, the proposer of the policy, said, “Most dental problems are preventable. Therefore, only a preventable policy can help the masses.”
Dr. Singh, Dean, Government Dental College, Mumbai highlighted the four most common diseases as : dental caries- commonly known as tooth decay, malocclusion or misalignment of teeth, periodontal diseases that affect the gums, and oral cancers.
Dental caries is an urban malaise which is commonly prevalent despite regular brushing of teeth by people. Excessive consumption of junk food and refined carbohydrates are cited to be the main reason for its prevalence by doctors.
Lack of hygiene in rural areas, leads to periodontal diseases.Incidence of dental caries is much lower, as intake of fibrous food is high in the rural segments.
Malocclusion and oral cancers are related to habits . “If we consider these common diseases, all are preventable and these mostly occur due to ignorance or poor knowledge of dental hygiene. The policy will work out an annual plan through which people will be counselled, put through regular dental check-ups, involve minor interventions and offer subsidized rates for a major intervention. The idea is to eventually reduce any major intervention through regular follow-ups,” said Dr Singh. The annual fee will be Rs.1,000 or less, he added.
38 private- and government-run dental colleges that have attached hospitals already have infrastructure in place . On an average, a private college registers 100 new patients daily, while a government one registers about 300. “We will set up booths to explain policy benefits, and only those who are convinced can register. Even if we start with small numbers, it will mean reducing the overall burden of future dental problems,” said Mr. Singh to the Hindu.