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Dentists Worry Over Rising Oral Health Problems Amid Shortage Of Experts

Dentists have raised alarm over increasing oral health problems in the country amid a shortage of experts to take care of them.

They said the major and common oral health problems are dental caries (tooth decay), especially among the younger population; periodontal disease (gum disease) which is common among the older population; maligned teeth, dental plaque, and mobile teeth.

The President of the Nigerian Dental Association, Dr Tope Adeyemi, stated this on Friday.

He said, “Oral health issues are increasing daily among people, because of unhealthy habits such as taking refined carbohydrates, alcohol, and smoking; yet people do not visit dentists at least twice a year. But then some of the reasons are economic in nature.

“People do not have money for routine visits to the dentists and this makes it difficult to bring down the number. People don’t have money to secure the services of dentists because of the economic downturn that we have.

“Currently, we have 4,500 dentists in the country, So, we have one dentist to 54,000 Nigerians and this ratio is further worsened when you go to the rural areas. Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation recommended one dentist to 5,000 patients, and the maximum should be one dentist to 7,000 patients.”

Also, a consultant Prosthodontist/Implantologist, Dr Kolawole Obagbemiro, stated, “We hope that the government will ensure that the national oral health policy will be implemented at its lowest level. When that is implemented, people can visit the Primary Health Care centres where they can get basic oral health care services.”

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