Through your extol journal we would like to inform people about quackery, the way it is running and affecting health of patients and measures which can be taken to destroy strong pillars of dental quackery in the city.
Quackery in dentistry has always been a subject of discussion because of the problems being faced by the patients. It is defined as swindle misinterpretation of the diagnosis and treatment of the disease by dental quacks. 1 Dental quacks are defined as people who are inept and practicing for attaining personal benefits by operating without any
qualification or training.2
The question which arises is that why patients go to dental quacks when they have qualified dentists in the city?
There are certain reasons such as low literacy rate, lack of awareness, poor socio-economic status, shortage of trained practitioners, expensive treatment, duration of treatment, poor accessibility to dental clinics, repeated dental appointments and poor dentist-patient ratio. All these factors contribute to severe complications which are
being faced by patients.3
Common leading quackery practices in Pakistan are acrylic dentures being fixed to oral mucosa and adjacent tooth with commercial glues, substandard complete dentures with suction disks incorporation, usage of unsterilized instruments which can lead to blood-borne diseases and lethal cross infections, damage to vessels and nerves e.g. lingual nerve, increase risk of cross infections, wrong diagnosis, wrong extraction of tooth, filling of cavities of tooth without proper diagnosis, inappropriate administration of anesthesia which is leading to systemic problems in asthmatic and cardiac patients, periapical lesions and cysts caused by incomplete cleaning and shaping of canals during Root canal treatment, malpractice of orthodontic cases, inappropriate guidance of periodontal problems and oral hygiene maintenance etc. Such procedures are giving rise to irreversible bone loss, inadvertent tooth loss, infections and trauma. They can also cause transmission of hepatitis B, C and HIV/AIDS in the community. 4
According to FDI, there are 40,000 non-qualified dental practitioners in Pakistan. 5 It is responsibility of government officials to strongly ban quackery practices in the country and must assure hygienic treatment to its citizens by establishing policies for underprivileged areas where quackery has formed strong roots. It is also recommended that more Dental colleges are required in Pakistan as there are only 4 public and 12 private dental colleges in Punjab, 4 public and 12 private colleges in Sindh, 2 public and 5 private in KPK and only 1 public dental college in Balochistan. According to statistics of PMDC (Pakistan
Medical and Dental Council) dentist to patient ratio in 2016,1:10990. 6 Dental colleges should urge fresh graduates to practice in low socio-economic areas and provide better facilities to them.
Community oriented oral health programs should be organized by community health works, use of tv advertisements, electronic and press media should be used for awareness among people. Government should pass strict laws against dental quackery.