The Improvement of health through Community education has been proven and time-tested health tool since many years. Dental and oral health, however, have not benefitted optimally from public health measures, due to several factors. The low priority given to oral health, and disregard and neglect of dental and oral diseases, not only by patients, but even by doctors and the government, is an important factor of concern. Even more worrying is the lack of awareness regarding the available dental health services and scope of dentistry, among the general Public, and at times medical practitioners. The book aims at educating readers regarding dental and oral diseases, the available treatment options and contemporary preventive strategies to maintain and improve oral health.
Dr. Abhijeet Kulkarni qualified as a dental surgeon from the University of Mumbai in the year 2000. He has been attached to institutions like the Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai; Savarkar Municipal General Hospital, Mumbai; and the Northamption General NHS Hospital, UK, to gain postgraduate experience. He has several papers and publications to his credit, in addition to writing on health issues in the Indian and British print media, including The Times of India, Express Healthcare management Magazine, BMA News Magazine, Careworld UK and the Health Service Journal.
Dr. Kulkarni has a private General Dental Practice at Mulund, Mumbai.
It is indeed with a great sense of pride and gratitude, that I pen this epistle. Pride because this labour of love has been written by one of my former students, and presently my professional colleague; and gratitude for being asked to write this foreword, and for this I feel deeply privileged.
This book is an educational experience, not only for the lay public but also for the dental and medical practitioner.
The manner in which the expectations of the dental patient have been portrayed, as to what he could expect and experience at the hands of his dental surgeon, and the expectations and attitude of the dental surgeon towards his patients, are commendable.
Detail and its implementation, that have been Dr. Abhijeet Kulkarni's forte all the years I have had the pleasure of knowing him, and which I hope he will continue to pursue in the future.
Many books have been written by specialists, to enhance the knowledge of professionals, so that they may provide better treatment to their patients. Optimal delivery of dental health services is, however, not possible unless there is considerable awareness among the general public, about the importance of oral health. There is, therefore, a need to sensitise people towards the importance of maintaining and enhancing oral health. Not only will it encourage people to seek timely dental professional service, but will also make it easier for the dental professionals to communicate with their patients.
In an era of consumerism and with the Consumer Protection Act always in the background, it is always beneficial to have a well-sensitised and a well informed public. Not only will it save valuable treatment time, owing to timely treatment at the early stages of the disease, but will also save the patient's time, money and energy, in addition to reducing the incidence of misunderstanding. This book will help answer many common queries arising in the mind of the common man, and develop a friendly approach towards dental treatment and the service provider.
This book is also suited for children, who have a fear of the 'unknown'. The prevalence of 'dental phobia' or fear of dentists and dental procedures is a major hindrance to proper delivery of patient care. This may either be a learned fear or transmitted to them by parents or peers. The book familiarises children and their parents alike, with dentists, their training, and the various treatment procedures undertaken. It will therefore help reduce the 'aura' from their minds about dentistry related events.
It has also come to notice, that the medical profession needs to be even more familiar with dental practitioners and their areas of core competence. This will help in more timely and fruitful referrals and optimise relations between the two specialists. The history of dentistry speaks for it- self about the common origins and evolution of medicine and dentistry, and how the great physicians of the past contributed greatly to the development of dentistry as a speciality of medicine. Considering the heavy workload on medical students during their period of training, and the very minimal contact they have with dentistry, this book should go a long way in familiarising them with the speciality, and its activities.
Last but foremost, it will hopefully provide the patients, a very comprehensive and balanced view of dentistry, and their oral health.
You, your teeth and your dentist are some of the issues one cannot ignore. But most people probably remember their teeth or dentist only when they develop that unbearable toothache or that somewhat fashionable painful wisdom tooth. Your teeth, your oral health and in consequence your dentist, have remained sidelined for quite some time now. In fact, many myths and misconceptions about them have developed, often to everyone's detriment. These include sentiments like dental phobia, to sheer dental neglect, to hating your teeth as well as your dentist. There are indeed apprehensions about the dentist's bills, and at times, his integrity or competence. It is these issues that this book tries to address.
There are people amongst us, who need to improve their awareness about the importance of their teeth and the masticatory apparatus. Many amongst us have taken these structures for granted, liable to abuse and wear, while some feel that modern dental science can solve all their dental woes, sometimes overestimating the power of the healer, to the cost of everyone, including themselves. The book seeks to throw some light on the various issues you would encounter, once you start thinking about your teeth. In fact it exhorts you to take your oral health seriously and think about preventing oral and dental disease, rather than rushing to seek assistance in emergency situations. A good oral hygiene and dental health makes an impact on individuals, their families, the community and in fact the entire nation. Nowadays there are various treatment modalities available in modem dentistry about which everyone should be aware. The book tries to answer some common queries and reservations that patients have about certain treatment options. It goes on to consider certain controversial issues currently facing the dental fraternity, and leaves the reader to make an informed choice.
The book gives information on training imparted to dentists and the qualifications they hold, thus enabling the reader to have an idea about the competence of their dental surgeon. It will also help attract fresh talent into the profession. It must be stressed, however, that like all healing professions, dentistry is an art as well as a science.
Though it would not be possible to either justify or not justify the charges for dental services, the book tries to shed some light on the economics of dental practice, thus giving a dentist's perspective of costs and charges. That is not to say that dentistry should be equated to a trade in any perceivable way, but it gives the reader an idea, about what he is paying for. It also tries to impress upon the patients their position as consumers of a service. The aim of the book is to create an informed patient who has an idea of what he or she can seek, the limitations of dental services, their duties and rights as responsible patients, so as to make the association with the dentist a satisfactory and rewarding experience.
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