Preventive model for rural areas
This oral health education, sealants to prevent caries and small fillings by ART Technique* promoted by WHO (World Health Organization) worldwide on primary teeth and permanent teeth, will prevent further complicated problems which need to be treated in a clinic (unaffordable to most of the rural populations).
There was a huge need for oral care when the programme was initiated, due to lack of facilities. In general today caries level hasn’t reduced, due to many developments in lifestyle like sugar-based sweets, junk food or sweet beverages. Through our continuing efforts to raise awareness on oral health and basic care, we have been able to reduce and caries from 90% to 50% in the younger generation. Today the adults are asking for more conservative treatment and prosthesis work, even implants.
The above has become possible due to:
- Simplicity in the approach of the programme
- Long term availability of the Dental Health Workers. .
- Local people trained through a innovative methodology to become Dental Health Workers who are available to guide the population at any time.
- To reach the rural population and communicate, the key is to use local people (mainly married women who stay in the village).
- Prioritizing children and educating them for a long term impact.
As education starts on oral health at an early age, when they reach their teens are usually become aware of the necessity to take care of themselves.
Good education in the family → good food/hygiene for its members → good health → reducing the health-related costs → a stronger society → better lifestyle/well-being of their communities → healthier and stronger country.
Preventive care offered in the sub-centres
(By hand instruments only – without electrical device)
Cleaning and scaling (tartar removal)
Dental Health Workers remove – the tartar (calculus). If there is heavy tartar, they refer to the dental clinic.
Prevention of caries: distributing tooth paste and toothbrushes, giving demonstration of brushing method, filling the pits and fissures in the enamel (mostly for permanent teeth) with a sealant to avoid caries.
This painless and simple manual technique is at the disposal of non-professionals especially in the developing countries . It even in the most basic conditions with no electricity and nor running water: it is the answer to the challenge of caries within the rural population out of reach of the cities and dentists!
The performers remove the early caries of mainly the primary teeth with no drilling (only by hand instruments) and fill them with a specific cement which sticks and releases fluoride – a substance known to stop the decaying process.
Stopping early caries avoid more costly dental care in a clinic, as well as the related health problems due to a lack of hygiene and to malnutrition.