Journal of Indian Association of Public Health Dentistry

: 2020  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 192-

Role of public health dentists toward enhancing the value of dentistry in India

Puneet Gupta 
 Department of Community Dentistry, Government College of Dentistry, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Puneet Gupta
Department of Community Dentistry, Government College of Dentistry, Indore - 452 001, Madhya Pradesh

How to cite this article:
Gupta P. Role of public health dentists toward enhancing the value of dentistry in India.J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent 2020;18:192-192

How to cite this URL:
Gupta P. Role of public health dentists toward enhancing the value of dentistry in India. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 May 7 ];18:192-192
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India presently has around 300 dental colleges providing admission to over 25,000 students to Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) course. However, in recent years, it has been noticed that some of the seats in dental colleges go vacant. This has financial implications for not only the college management but also the faculty of the college. More importantly, the country is losing human resources to deliver oral health care.

The role of public health dentistry is important in improving admissions to dental colleges and producing more dental surgeons. From the clinical point of view, there may be a sufficient number of dentists in urban areas. However, the peri-urban and rural areas lack trained oral health caregivers. Although other departments train BDS students clinically, public health dentistry can prepare the BDS students to work in rural settings. Public health dentistry should focus on preparing BDS students to work in a limited resource setting and provide culturally acceptable treatment. This will take oral health care toward the unreached population while providing employment to young graduates.

Public health dentistry is also the place to ignite minds to think beyond clinical dentistry especially for those who feel clinical dentistry is moving toward saturation. The best example can be to start tobacco cessation activities not only as a social initiative but also on a fee basis. Tobacco is a big menace to the Indian society today, and there is a lot of scope to work in the area of tobacco control and cessation. Recently, the Dental Council of India has realized the importance of public health dentistry in tobacco cessation. If the department trains undergraduates in this area, more and more dentists will find newer horizons to explore.

Clinical research has been there in India for over a decade now. Still, there is a lot of scope especially with respect to indigenous products for oral health care and beyond. If the department of public health dentistry trains students with short research projects, they will be better equipped to take on roles in a clinical research field.

A lot of students after dentistry are moving to work in the area of public health, health administration, and hospital management. A good public health dentistry department will show students areas to work later. Health administration and hospital management are also introduced to students in the department.

Because the scope of the subject is very wide, the department can open gates for new opportunities among dental students to find a better tomorrow. Students may start a nongovernmental organization or practice mobile clinical dentistry. As the scope of BDS course will improve, so will the admission to the colleges. This will be a step to bring honor to the profession of dentistry, and we as public health dentists should use the special powers we have toward achieving this goal.