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Expert urges govts to employ, deploy dentists to PHCs

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A Consultant Periodontist, Dr Solomon Nwhator, has urged the three tiers of government to employ and deploy more dentists to the Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) across the country.

Nwhator, who works with the College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun, made the plea at the annual Maj.Gen. Sho-Silva Faculty lecture on Friday in Lagos.

Theme of the lecture was :”Periodontal Engineering; The Future is Now”.

He said that every primary healthcare centre needs to have a family dentist, because lots of people were suffering from dental issues.

“Some health practitioners, who are not dentists do our work due to lack of dentists at the PHCs across the country.

“In terms of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), it is too limited; the basic dental services such as scaling and polishing is not on the NHIS list any more.

“Governments should relate with the dentists in getting important treatment on NHIS list; surgical extraction is on the treatment list, but few people need that in the country,” Nwhator said.

He said that the topic entails how they could restore gums that had rust due to disease; gum disease comes from neglect of taking good care of their teeth.

“This is so, if they didn’t brush properly; some brush properly, but still have genetic dental issues which can lead to gum disease.

“Gum disease affects several aspect of our lives, such as lack of confidence to smile.

“Our major focus is how we can treat gum disease effectively with the new method or cells involving special technology different from the old methods.

“The special technology or cells will be stimulated to produce new periodontal tissue; the tissue is available at the laboratory to encourage healing,” Nwhator said.

He advised people not to brush directly on their gums, saying it might damage the gum, adding that texture of the toothbrush was also very important.

“We are also advocating that people should eat lot of fruits and vegetables regularly, because it helps periodontal gum and oral health,” Nwhator said.

In his remarks, a Consultant Family Dentist, Dr Johnson Adetoye, said that people should have access to affordable and effective dental care anywhere in the country, especially at the grassroots level.

Adetoye, who works with the Garki Hospital, Abuja, said that at the primary healthcare system, dentists were not given a place which was a big problem, adding that governments need to change that policy.

He said that governments should rise up to the challenges because out of the 180 million people in the country, only few have access to the dentists.

“This year theme is very unique as many adults are loosing their teeth which is as result of condition called periodontitis.

“In the United State of America, 50 per cent of the adult population, have this condition called periodontitis and they have been working effective to control the disease.

“Periodontitis needs to be controlled on time, because it may lead to teeth loss, Nigeria governments also need to do more concerning control of the disease.

“Periodontal bioengineering is a future of periodontitis, we need to fully embrace it to reduce the risk of losing teeth,” Adetoye said.

Also, a Consultant Dental Surgeon, Dr Edeh Ejikeme, urged governments to improve the national health insurance on dental care services, especially the basic ones.

Ejikeme, also Head of Clinical Services, Federal Medical Centre, Keffi in Nasarawa, said that lots of people had dental issues, which they were not aware of

due to lack of dentists in the hospitals.

“If dental issues are not treated on time, it will result to losing of teeth and other complications such as infertility.

“Governments should make sure that dental care services are available at the primary, secondary and tertiary hospitals in all the states.

“The major dental issues in Nigeria are periodontitis,tooth malfunction, dental tumours and other dental issues,” he said.

OKG/GOK

Edited by Olagoke Olatoye

Contact US: editor[at]nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247[at]gmail.com

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