Dental chairs, sterilising equipment and other gear will be required for the statewide dental screening programme being planned by the government. Chief Secretary S.K. Joshi at a review meeting had mentioned concerns over the availability of dental chairs, which are important for examination of the teeth.The TS government plans to start ear, nose, throat and dental screening along the lines of Kanti Velugu.
Dr M. Priyanka said, “There are around 12,000 villages and if they want to carry out screening even at the camps the dental chair will be required along with other equipment. A single dental chair costs `1 lakh.”
Dental check-ups in hospitals or camps will require basic infrastructure. Villagers will need to travel to the camps for treatment and basic facilities will have to be provided to them, said a senior health officer who is part of the programme.
Dentists can see 10-15 patients per day with procedures like scaling, filling, surgeries and others. All procedures can be done if there is enough equipment. If it is only a check-up, dentists can examine hundreds of patients but it will be a basic exercise. If a dentist were to do scaling, she would need equipment, sterilisation and power supply.
The state has about 15,000 private dentists. A survey by the Indian Dental Association showed that than 95 per cent Indians suffer from gum diseases and over 50 per cent do not use a toothbrush.
A senior dentist on condition of anonymity said the dental chair was required for a detailed oral examination of missing teeth, ulcers, cheek bites and cavities. The people can be called in later for treatment.
He said the cost of equipment is very high. “If if government plans to procure them, it will take six months to manufacture and install the equipment,” he said.