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Covid-19: Dental patients advised not to visit quacks

Last Updated on May 1, 2020 at 7:00 pm

JAMMU, Apr.30: Dr.Gautam Sharma, Ex-President Indian Dental Association (IDA) Jammu, has said that quacks can play a spoilsport in the control of COVID-19 and also be multipliers of virus in India. He warned the general public not to visit the quacks for their dental treatment who use unhygienic and unsterilized instruments and were not following any kind of disinfection protocols. Quack is an untrained person who pretends to be a doctor and dispenses medical and dental advice along with treatment for which he is not authorised.

When the whole world is struggling with covid-19 crisis, and most of the dental clinics run by qualified dentists are temporarily closed, there are reports that patients have started visiting the quacks operating illegally and as such are posing threat to health of patients.

In the present scenario, as the number of covid-19 infected patients is increasing, Dr.Gautam Sharma appealed the public to remain indoors and can consult the dentist on phone in case of dental pain and emergency. Dr.Gautam stressed that the dentists too are concerned and worried about the patients and doctor are available on phone, as many dentists are providing consultation on video-calls and using tele-dentistry. Many dental colleges have published the mobile numbers of their faculty for the general public. The private dental clinics will open as soon as the government will allow after assessing the situation.  In the event of severe pain, the patient can visit nearby dental college as they have advanced facilities to treat the patient during the covid-19 crisis.

Dr.Sharma advised the public to maintain good oral hygiene by brushing twice daily, flossing the teeth regularly, eating a balanced diet  and avoiding sweet and sticky food like candies, chocolates etc.

Public in general is not aware of the fact that how to differentiate that a clinic is being run by a doctor or by a quack when visiting a private clinic for their dental treatment. It can easily be judged by looking at the three certificates displayed in the waiting area or at a prominent place in the clinic. These three certificates are BDS/MDS certificate, certificate of registration by State Dental Council/Dental Council of India and Clinic registration certificate.

Bachelors of Dental Surgery (BDS) or Masters of Dental Surgery (MDS) certificate is issued to the doctors after successfully completing their degree from a university. Any dentist you visit for the dental treatment must have either BDS or MDS university certificate otherwise he/she is not a qualified dentist and is not permitted to administer specialized treatment on the patient.

Second is the certificate of registration of Dentist by State Dental Council or Dental Council of India is of utmost importance as it certifies whether a dentist is registered by dental council to treat patients or not.

Third, not all but some state dental councils in India issue clinic registration certificate after inspecting that a dental clinic is equipped with all the material, instrument and equipment to treat a patient.

In India, under Chapter V, Section 49 of the Dentist Act of 1948 requires dentists, dental mechanics, and dental hygienists to be licensed. These dental quacks on the streets can be penalized under The Dentist Act leading to imprisonment & penalty but strict laws need to be reinforced and implemented.

Dr.Sharma cautioned that quacks have no provision of autoclaving the instruments in their illegal clinics and therefore fatal infections like Corona virus, HIV, hepatitis B etc, from blood and saliva can transmit to other patients. To save a little amount of money, patients visit a quack as their fee is lower than a qualified dentist. But the consequence of visiting a quack for treatment can be dangerous and life-threatening.