Emphasising on the need for dental hospitals at par with global standards across India, Union Minister for Science, Technology and Earth Sciences Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurated a state-of-the-art research centre for oral health in Mumbai on Sunday. The Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Education and Research Centre and super-specialty clinic in Prabhadevi, under the Indian Dental Association, will facilitate clinical research in oral health and will cater to poorer sections of the society, in which oral health is often neglected.
“For poor people, healthcare is getting more expensive. In two or three months, you will have a state-of-the-art dental implant facility at one third of the current cost. It will be at par with global standards,” said Vardhan. The dental implant technology is a tri-party agreement between Indian Institute of Technology, Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to create advanced technology for accessible dental healthcare.
“Dental ailments are a big issue. We should create dental hospitals all over the country. We can provide access to all Indians through advanced machines that people can afford,” the minister said.
On Sunday, addressing various oral health experts, he invited ideas on research projects to improve healthcare through technological advancements. “There are 38 highly developed research laboratories under CSIR. We have active collaboration with 42 countries in science and research,” said Vardhan, adding, “The next step is to develop instruments that will address dental issues at mass level.”
Vardhan added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s scheme ‘Start Up India Stand Up India’ encourages independent researchers to float ideas and avail loans, which could also be utilised in dental research.
According to Dr Ashok Dhoble, general secretary of the Indian Dental Association, dental research advances can also help in forensics where a dead body’s identification can be made easier through tests carried out on his teeth. “We are striving to conduct research in such directions. There is very little research in dental sciences,” he said.
The Dr APJ Abdul Kalam dental clinic will conduct dental restoration work and advanced dental procedures. Dhoble added that the centre will have 25 dental simulators for teaching students, five clinical stations and an operation theatre for training dental practitioners.