Unlicensed street dentists teeth filling Gap for the poor in India

Oct 6, 2016 | | Say something

Ignoring the curious and noisy buses, street dentist Allah Baksh dipped his hands into the mouth of a patient to adapt a bright set of dentures for $ 12 in the Indian city of Bangalore.

Unlicensed Street Dentists Filling Tooth Gap for the Poor in India Calle unlicensed dentist teeth filling Gap for the poor in India

With its plastic stool, mirror and glass display cases teeth, Baksh is among hundreds of these dentists frowned upon by their counterparts licensed in modernizing India quickly. But the 54-year-old insists he is providing an essential service to tens of millions of poor who can not afford a visit to a sterile clinic.


“There are millions of poor people in this country who can not afford expensive dental treatment, but also have the right to be treated and look good. I know this is not hygienic at all, but if I can start using sophisticated tools, the poor won ‘t come here, “Baksh said.

From shoeshine dentists, hairdressers and cooks, street services are an ingrained part of life in India, especially for the poor.

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80 cents a tooth

Baksh was never formally trained as a dentist, instead learn their skills from his father, who arrived in 1984 to the southern backwater, sleepy now become a regional IT hub and thriving metropolis. Together with his nephew younger brother, son and Baksh established his clinic 14 years ago outside a bus stop, which together make dentures and fit for about 20 customers a day.

A full set of teeth, molded and ready to fit in 30 minutes, costs as little as Rs. 800 ($ 12), while a single false tooth sells for Rs. 50 (80 cents). The tools are washed thoroughly with soap and water, but not disinfected. The teeth in all shapes and sizes are made in China and India from dental cement. soft pink adhesive is then molded to the gums and teeth stuck in, with dentists saying that his work has a duration of at least four years.

India passed a law in 1948 that allows only licensed dentists to treat patients, but vague formulation and outdated legislation on exactly what constitutes a dentist has allowed many others are not registered to operate.

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In big cities like New Delhi and Mumbai, numbers dentist Street have declined in recent years in the growing of HIV / AIDS and other diseases awareness, increasing income levels of the client, and dentist graduates increased. But still they thrive in smaller cities and towns, but few perform root canals, fillings or other operations.

“There must be thousands of them. The oral health care (industry) is in its infancy and, surprisingly, we have no figures even qualified dentists in India.” Ashok Dhoble, secretary general of the Indian Dental Association.

Dhoble said 30,000 graduates join the profession each year, but India still has only one dentist for every 10,000 people in urban areas and around 250,000 in rural areas, according to the National Library of Medicine. Dhoble brand unlicensed dentists charlatans not worth the risk, despite the lack ultra cheap services offered by licensed professionals for the poor.

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“Ban them and they will be forced to look for another job. We can not have a cheap treatment as an excuse to continue this practice,” he said.

Status Symbol

Dentist Satvinder Singh, 48, said his profession is slowly dying due to the growth of formal industry dentist India, along with more hygiene-conscious customers.

“A few decades I used to get 30 customers a day ago. I hardly see two now,” Singh said.

Singh said a few decades ago, traders from the market, the largest in Asia, close spices align their false teeth silver and gold, considered a status symbol. “Earlier rich and poor alike would visit us but now we are looked down on,” he said.

Meanwhile, Baksh is adamant that is improving the lives of the poor, and that his family will continue the tradition. “We have thousands of satisfied customers who not only pay us, but give us your blessings.”

Source: AFP

This article was originally published on medindia.net

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