Plugging cavities in dental health policy

Published: Wednesday 15 February 1995

No more chewing the cud, the Health Ministry has decided. A national oral health policy will be announced soon. Currently tiding over teething problems, the ministry will launch a Rs 1.5 crore pilot project from 5 districts in different regions of the country.

The pilot project, which will help the final shaping of the policy, is the outcome of a nation-wide exercise launched last April, aimed at promoting oral health care and preventing dental diseases.

About 80 per cent of our population -- especially in the cities -- suffers from dental caries. An effective oral health care system would need to "deal with symptoms at the incipient stage," says A K Mukherjee, Director General of Health Services. To keep treatments within affordable limits, dental care will be incorporated within the primary health care services.

The ministry is also taking seriously professional advice regarding reigning in of community efforts and using social and cultural idioms for spreading awareness on dental hygiene.

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