By: Shaibu Issifu
Dental Clinic, A Comfortable Home For All
Dental conditions affect almost everybody at one point or the other especially the two common ones;
- Dental caries/ tooth decay
- Periodontal diseases (gum disease), these two disease affect at least 90% of the world’s population at any point in time and require prompt management.
CAPACITY TO DEAL WITH ORAL HEALTH CONDITIONS
According to world health organization (WHO) the ideal dentist to patient ratio is 1:7,500, this has even been further reduced to 1:5,000, India has even achieved a remarkable record of 1:2,000 WHO has put Africa’s average ratio to 1:150,000 coupled with inadequate training of middle cadre of oral health professionals to supplement the number. These figures shows how crippled Africa is in terms of the human resource to deal decisively with oral health conditions, this automatically calls for citizenry support and heartwarming motivational package to the few overstretched oral health professionals if any progress is to be made with respect to oral health and craniofacial conditions.
MISCONCEPTIONS AND PERCEPTIONS ABOUT DENTISTS AND ORAL HEALTH.
Due to the abysmally number of oral health professionals information on oral health has also been abysmally disseminated leading to a lot of oral health misconceptions :
- Individuals have the perception that the work of oral health professionals is only extraction of teeth and therefore visit dentist at the terminal end of their oral conditions.
- There is also the fear that after extraction the gum can swell to an unbearable level and can even cause death.
- The mouth is revered as a “no go area” hence the difficulty in opening one’s mouth for Oral health professionals or any other person to examine
- Over reliance on quack dentist by road side which the clients are more comfortable with as compared to “alien dentist”.
- Perceived pain associated with dental procedures.
- There is the overwhelming will to take off (extract) tooth due to it’s numerical advantage (32 in number)
- There is the general perception that health workers are generally hostile and by extension oral health staff.
THE REAL “MODUS OPERANDI” IN DENTAL CLINIC
- The Oral health professionals’ work transcends extraction of teeth and focus on restoration of the tooth, in fact oral health professionals helplessly extracts teeth with a lot of pain within them because their first, second and third intention is to save any teeth.
- Oral health professionals see to all conditions relating to the face, the cranium and it’s related structure (craniofacial complex) and beyond.
- Pain is almost absent basically in all procedures, topical and local anesthesia are effectively utilized for the full comfort of the patient thereby making the dental experience pain free.
- The most welcoming and friendly unit one can find in hospital setting is the dental unit, the oral health team always keep smiling towards their clients.
- The patient charter is fully observed to it’s logical conclusion; the principle of autonomy, beneficence, non-malfeasance, and Justice are dearly upheld in oral health practise.
- Clients also spend minimal time due to the urgency oral health professionals attach to their work.
- Dental clinic staff recognizes and believe in the principle that “client is a king/queen” hence work best for the betterment of their Kings/queens.
- The joy of every oral health professional in a dental team is to see his/her clients smile with confidence.
COMPLICATIONS OF NEGLECTED ORAL HEALTH CONDITIONS
- Social embarrassment, this is associated with bad breath, malocclusions (increase overjet).
- Facial deformities ie cancrum oris associated with neglected Acute Necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG)
- Malnutrition, unbearable pain in the mouth impedes proper chewing and swallowing of food during eating hence the malnutrition.
- Preterm baby, pregnant mothers with neglected chronic periodontal diseases are more likely to have preterm babies
- Neglected oral health condition can lead to systemic infection and even dangerous conditions such as; Ludwig’s Angina, necrotizing cervical fascitis, infective endocarditis, Alzheimer’s diseases, kidney diseases among others.
- The government should train more dentist and set a mark towards achieving the dentist-patient ratio of 1:5000 as well as more middle cadre oral health professionals.
- Dental clinics should be considered by all as our second most comfortable home.
- We shouldn’t wait for any active disease before visiting an oral health professional, at least a visit every six months can proactively resolve all oral health conditions.
- In the dental set up your wish remains our command.
- Visiting a quack doctor can be detrimental to your health.
- Let’s visit dental unit for more information on their operations and services available.
- Let’s all help to avoid needless deaths, hospitalization and disabilities as a results of neglected oral health conditions.