Call made for more fo­cus on pre­ven­tion of tooth de­cay

Daily Observer (Jamaica) - - NEWS -

MIN­IS­TER of Health Dr Christo­pher Tufton says greater fo­cus needs to be placed on the pre­ven­tion of tooth de­cay, and den­tal pro­fes­sion­als are well qual­i­fied to spread the mes­sage.

De­liv­er­ing the main ad­dress at the Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy (Utech), Ja­maica 7th An­nual White Coat Cer­e­mony at the in­sti­tu­tion in St. An­drew on Novem­ber 6, the min­is­ter pointed out that the cost of treat­ment is a chal­lenge for the ma­jor­ity of the pop­u­la­tion, adding that the Na­tional Den­tal Sealant Pro­gramme is to en­sure that the cul­ture of pre­ven­tion starts at an early age, and also to give care to the most vul­ner­a­ble in the so­ci­ety.

Dr Tufton said the Gov­ern­ment will be ex­pand­ing the sealant pro­gramme, and is de­pend­ing on the pro­fes­sion­als to as­sist in en­cour­ag­ing more peo­ple to prac­tise proper oral hy­giene.

The min­is­ter noted that last year, the pro­gramme catered to ap­prox­i­mately 20,000 chil­dren from six to 12 years of age.

He ex­plained that as part of a 10-year strate­gic plan that the min­istry is un­der­tak­ing, as well as the re­struc­tur­ing of the Re­gional Health Au­thor­i­ties (RHAS), changes will be made to in­clude how oral health is en­hanced.

Dr Tufton told the new den­tal pro­fes­sion­als that over time, he is hop­ing that they will be en­gaged in the pub­lic health sys­tem, even if they are in pri­vate prac­tice, “be­cause of the new ap­proaches that we will de­velop to main­stream and in­te­grate oral health in the pub­lic sec­tor”.

The min­is­ter urged the new en­trants to the den­tal pro­fes­sion to be high on cus­tomer ser­vice. “Care with com­pas­sion is ab­so­lutely crit­i­cal; if you do that, you are go­ing to see that the re­cep­tion that you get from pa­tients will be sig­nif­i­cantly en­hanced,” he told the

gather­ing.

The White Coat Cer­e­mony is used to cel­e­brate the tran­si­tion of den­tal stu­dents from pre­clin­i­cal to clin­i­cal year. Stu­dents who have dis­played mas­tery of the re­quired tech­niques and knowl­edge are qual­i­fied to be awarded and donned with white coats.

The Col­lege of Oral Health Sciences at Utech of­fers the Doc­tor of Med­i­cal Den­tistry (DMD), Mas­ter of Science in Den­tal Ther­apy, the Bach­e­lor of Science in Den­tal Hy­giene, the Bach­e­lor of Science in Den­tal Lab­o­ra­tory Tech­nol­ogy and the Diploma in Den­tal As­sist­ing.

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