AIIMS to carry out the largest nationwide dental survey for national oral health policy
New Delhi, India: A series of workshops conducted at AIIMS, Delhi have drafted the survey guidelines as a part of the process to create an all-encompassing policy related to oral health. The data collected in this survey would act as a baseline for planning preventive and treatment strategies in oral healthcare in India. Once the policy is notified, the health ministry of India will work on a national strategic implementation framework with detailed implementation points.
Centre for Dental Education and Research (CDER), AIIMS will undertake the largest nationwide oral health survey this year to identify gaps in dental education, human resources and treatment. The study will take place in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, which has identified CDER as the National Centre for Excellence for oral and dental health. Also, it will be supervised by a committee of representatives from AIIMS, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, and Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences, New Delhi,
The data collected in this survey would act as a baseline for planning preventive and treatment strategies in oral healthcare in India. There is no India specific policy on oral and dental health, and there is an urgent need to create one. The data collected in this survey will be a part of the oral and dental health policy that will bring all aspects related to oral and dental health under a single umbrella.
"Multiple surveys have been conducted in the past, some at the institutional level and some regional. The last national-level survey was conducted in 2002 and this exercise in 2019, seventeen years later, is vital and will bring out glaring facts about the need for oral health interventions and the changing paradigm of dental diseases," said Dr OP Kharbanda, Chief, Centre for Dental Education and Research, AIIMS.
The survey will create a new baseline by recording specific, representative data on the most prevalent dental diseases in the country like dental decay, gum diseases, dentofacial deformities, cancerous lesions, dental fluorosis and dental trauma etc. It will also bring out glaring facts about the need for oral health interventions.
The survey is designed by an expert committee of dentists representing various oral health specialities and health ministry officials, who have formulated the sampling strategies, planning and timelines of the survey. Scientifically validated guidelines will be utilised for sampling, examination and recording of data by experts. The survey logistics, necessary infrastructure and resources have also been thoroughly discussed.
"It is an all-encompassing policy related to oral health,” said Dr Kharbanda. "The plan is to ensure trained, and calibrated oral health workforce examines the teeth following protocols in coherence with global guidelines to bring out an authentic data bank that acts as a baseline to plan preventive and treatment strategies," he added.
The survey will collect oral health data of the children in early years of life, examine the geriatric groups to assess their prosthetic treatment needs considering the increasing life expectancy, the impact of traditional oral hygiene practices, and the effects of high sugar diet on oral health, and much more.\
Once the policy is notified, the health ministry of India will work on a national strategic implementation framework with detailed implementation points.c