Dr Mansing Pawar, the newly elected President of Maharashtra Dental Council, believes that dental treatment is not costly if treated on time. In an exclusive interview with My Medical Mantra, Pawar, who is also the dean of Government Dental College, shares his plan to have dental insurance. He says it will allow more people to take benefit of dental services without worrying about cost.
What are your immediate priorities as President of Maharashtra Dental Council?
Every year, members have to renew their registration. There have been suggestions to extend period of renewal of registration to 3-5 years. Some states already have 3-4 years period for renewal of registration. I will try to have the same for Maharashtra.
I also plan to start family dentist concept where graduates can be family dentists and can refer to specialists if required. I also plan to have dental insurance. Right now, mediclaims do not cover dentistry related problems. People are therefore hesitant to approach dentists and they avoid treatment. I will also try to include oral diseases and dental treatment procedures in various health schemes.
Like Continuing Medical Education (CME) is compulsory, do you plan to make Continuing Dental Education (CDE) compulsory too?
Dentistry is a fast-growing science because of the way technology is progressing. A dentist needs to stay abreast with latest developments in field of dentistry. While CDE is not compulsory and it will be Dental Council of India’s decision to make it compulsory, I will pursue the same.
Do you think there is saturation in the profession?
Dentistry is a skilled and service-oriented profession. Government is taking steps especially to create more posts for dentists. The Government of Maharashtra has created more than 1,000 dental surgeons posts. The problem is that most of the graduates prefer settling in cities than practicing in rural areas. During my term as president, I would like to appeal to dentists to give back to the society. Rural practising is equally important.
Dental treatments are perceived as a costly treatment. What do you have to say on the same?
Dental health is never a priority for many. No one considers tooth as an important organ of the body. There is always a delay in presentation of dental problems. If treated on time, dental treatments are not costly. Emphasis needs to be given on prevention than cure. The state medical education department has started Swacch Mukh Abhiyan to spread awareness on teeth and oral hygiene.
Any plans to encourage research work in dentistry in the state?
I plan to start an international standard publication, which may be an online publication. I want private practitioners to participate too. They can share their cases and difficulties. We have 34,600 members. I will be asking them to share their records of oral diseases. It will help us find incidences of oral diseases in the state.