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 Table of Contents  
EDITORIAL
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 55-56

Oral and dental services in a family health center: A personal note


Government General Hospital, Manjeri, Kerala, India

Date of Submission24-Feb-2022
Date of Decision27-Apr-2022
Date of Acceptance30-Apr-2022
Date of Web Publication20-Jun-2022

Correspondence Address:
Thorakkal Shamim
Shangrila, Parappanangadi - 676 303, Kerala
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jpcdoh.jpcdoh_9_22

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How to cite this article:
Shamim T. Oral and dental services in a family health center: A personal note. J Prim Care Dent Oral Health 2022;3:55-6

How to cite this URL:
Shamim T. Oral and dental services in a family health center: A personal note. J Prim Care Dent Oral Health [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Oct 1];3:55-6. Available from: http://www.jpcdoh.org/text.asp?2022/3/3/55/347804




  Introduction Top


The government of India had commenced a National Oral Health Program (NOHP) to provide integrated, comprehensive oral health care to all age groups.[1] The objectives of the above program are (1) to enhance the determinants of oral health, (2) to lessen morbidity from oral diseases, (3) to amalgamate oral health promotion and preventive services with the general health care system, and (4) to promote public − private partnerships model for achieving better oral health.[1] The government had introduced Aardram Mission to upgrade and re-engineer primary health centers (PHCs) to Family Health Centers (FHCs) to deliver people-friendly outpatient services and primary and secondary preventive measures to the vulnerable and marginalized rural population in Kerala.[2] Oral health care delivery is not implemented in all FHCs in Kerala. More recently, PHC in Vazhakkad Panchayath in Kerala which was devastated in 2018 floods was transformed to FHCs by the government with the aid of nongovernmental organization under the Rebuild Kerala Initiative.[3] This editorial note narrates the author's story of working in an FHC to render oral and dental services and straighten out fortuitous ideas to fulfill the universal oral health coverage scheme in near future in Kerala.


  Author's Story Top


The previous pursuit of the author to strengthen the oral care delivery model in the health services department in Kerala state has been documented.[4] He was deployed at FHC Vazhakkad by the government from October 25, 2021 for 3 days per week to deliver the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the oral cavity. He worked as family dentist cum oral pathologist for the primary and secondary prevention of oral and dental diseases. The oral health programs were carried out as oral health education, primary preventive measures, and secondary preventive measures.[5] The oral health education was carried out with the help of motivational lectures regarding oral health, tooth brushing, identifying dental caries, identification of oral lesions associated with smokeless tobacco, identifying traumatic injuries, and faulty occlusion.[6] The above motivational lectures were delivered to Accredited Social Health Activists workers who stood as arogya sena in FHC's. The primary preventive strategy includes plaque control, fluoridation, diet counseling, dental prophylaxis, oral cancer or potential malignant disorders hazards counseling, and pit and fissure sealant program.[5] The secondary preventive measure is intended to intercept the oral disease in its early stage to make minimum destruction and repair. It includes interim and permanent restorations, serial extractions and dental extractions of hopeless teeth, detection, and management of oral lesions.[5] The time-consuming dental procedures such as endodontic procedures, impactions, and periodontal and prosthetic procedures were referred to higher centers with more emphasis given to the stringent sterilization protocol of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease), patient satisfaction, quality of work, and work ethics.


  Conclusion Top


The following recommendations may be implemented by the government to fulfill the universal health coverage scheme of oral and dental services in FHCs in Kerala. It may be foreseen that the universal health coverage scheme may be implemented for new post creations of dental surgeons and oral pathologists, respectively, at FHCs for dental care services and for the early detection of potentially malignant oral disorders and oral cancers in Kerala.[4],[7] Effective and efficient utilization of workforce for specialty dental procedures requiring clinical acumen and competence may lessen the burden of oral and dental diseases (dental caries, periodontal diseases, oral cancer, and dental fluorosis) in the rural population in Kerala.[8] The oral and dental care delivery may be more effective by appointing dental professionals mastered in postgraduate dental specialties as junior residents and senior residents in teaching institutions either private or government as peripheral posting. There is also a provision for the posting of undergraduate students of dentistry specialty from the public and private sectors as peripheral center posting to add on it. The above proposals may enhance the strengthening of dental units and improvizing the revenue of FHCs in near future.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
National Oral Health Programme (NOHP). Available from: https://nhm.gov.in/index1.php?lang=1&level=2&sublinkid=1044&lid=608. [Last accessed on 2022 Feb 21].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Aardram Mission. Harmonising Ayush and Modern Medicine. Available from: https://arogyakeralam.gov.in/2020/04/01/aardram/. [Last accessed on 2022 Feb 21].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Devastated by 2018 Flood, Vazhakkad PHC Transforms into Modern Hospital. Available from: https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/kerala/2021/jul/23/devastated-by-2018-flood-vazhakkad-phc-transforms-into-modern-hospital-2334053.html. [Last accessed on 2022 Feb 21].  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Shamim T. My experience as an educator, motivational, and collaborative dental professional in India. J Family Med Prim Care 2020;9:456-8.  Back to cited text no. 4
  [Full text]  
5.
Shamim T. Oral health policy amicable for the South Asian association for regional cooperation nations. Iran J Public Health 2014;43:1589-90.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Shamim T. School teachers as communicator for oral health promotion among school children in Malappuram municipality in Kerala. J Family Med Prim Care 2018;7:1591.  Back to cited text no. 6
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
7.
Shamim T. Awareness about oral pathology specialty among medical professionals in hospitals under Kerala Health Services Department in Malappuram district in Kerala, India. J Family Med Prim Care 2019;8:590-3.  Back to cited text no. 7
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
8.
Ramanarayanan V, Janakiram C, Joseph J, Krishnakumar K. Oral health care system analysis: A case study from India. J Family Med Prim Care 2020;9:1950-7.  Back to cited text no. 8
  [Full text]  




 

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Introduction
Author's Story
Conclusion
References

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