|LETTER TO THE EDITOR
|Year : 2014 | Volume
| Issue : 3 | Page : 206
Public health dentistry education program in India
Shamaz Mohamed1, Joe Joseph2
1 Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health Dentistry, Amrita School of Dentistry, Edapally, Ernakulum, Cochin, Kerala, India
2 Professor and Head, Department of Public Health Dentistry, Amrita School of Dentistry, Edapally, Ernakulum, Cochin, Kerala, India
|Date of Web Publication||13-Aug-2014|
Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health Dentistry, Amrita School of Dentistry, Edapally, Cochin - 682 041, Kerala
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Mohamed S, Joseph J. Public health dentistry education program in India. Indian J Public Health 2014;58:206
With reference to the article by Anjali Sharma and Sanjay Zodpey titled "transforming public health education in India through networking and collaborations: Opportunities and challenges",  I would like to state that in the field of dentistry also there is a need for a fresh approach and transformation to bring about the necessary change in the oral health scenario of Indian population. Dentistry has grown as a full-fledged profession in India and around nine branches or specialties exist today. Among these specialties, to cater to the population needs we have a branch of public health referred to as Public Health Dentistry.
Public Health Dentistry is a specialty post graduate program in field of dentistry. Although it is in a nascent stage in India the specialty is very much advanced in most of the developed countries and has led to betterment of population in relation to oral health. Water fluoridation, school based preventive programmers, use of fluoridated toothpaste are some of the major reasons for the decline of dental caries in the developed world.  In India organized dental public health programs hardly exist. This could be due to lack in networking and collaborations between individuals and as well as well-known public health institutions. Indian population also has enormous burden of oral health problems and treatment of these diseases are expensive.  Indian health care delivery system does not have adequate provisions to prevent and treat the oral disorders. To add to this the lack of awareness among the public regarding oral health problems and also neglect towards preventive dental behavior worsen the scenario.  These are a few major causes for increase in oral health problems in India.
Even though, the specialty has been doing its bit in improving the oral health situation since its inception in the year 1969, there has been little to say about the achievements in India. This could be attributed to the lack of skills among the personnel especially in the field epidemiology and research. The reasons could be the curriculum design and also the lack of proficiency among the faculty. Recently, one can see a surge among public health dentists to acquire new skills and knowledge and also few opting for modules and courses offered by Indian Institute of Public Health and other institutions of repute.
The large increase in our professionals to seek knowledge and skills outside their post graduate courses show the poor design of our curriculum and also the output product is short of necessary standards and competencies desired. Thus the role of networking and collaboration is necessary where by other sub specialties of public health can get benefited by improving the curriculum and by getting assistance in most of the areas for betterment of the specialty.
All the above reasons would substantiate the role of partnerships, collaborations and associations with various eminent personalities and institutions, whereby we can share the knowledge of public health and ultimately improve the overall health of the population.
| References|| |
|1.||Sharma A, Zodpey SP. Transforming public health education in India through networking and collaborations: opportunities and challenges. Indian J Public Health 2013;57:155-60. |
|2.||Petersen PE, Lennon MA. Effective use of fluorides for the prevention of dental caries in the 21st century: the WHO approach. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2004;32:319-21. |
|3.||Rahmatulla M. Vision and challenges for dental research worker. Indian J Dent Res 2009;20:135. |
|4.||Petersen PE, Kandelman D, Arpin S, Ogawa H. Global oral health of older people - call for public health action. Community Dent Health 2010;27:257-67. |