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Empowering Smiles: Demystifying Dental Health

Dr. Puneet Kalra, a distinguished dentist, began his journey with a foundation laid at the esteemed Bikaner Boys School. Completing BDS with distinction in 1996, he embarked on a private practice in 2000, founding Kalra Dental Care, offering cutting-edge digital dentistry solutions. Pursuing MDS in Periodontology & Oral Implantology, he attained distinction, driven by a vision to extend quality dental care to remote regions. With state-of-the-art technology and personalized care for over two decades, Dr. Kalra embodies a commitment to excellence and compassion in dentistry.

In a special interaction with Nirmesh Barni, a Senior Journalist representing The Interview World, Dr. Puneet Kalra delves into the myriad challenges facing dental care, explores cutting-edge dental solutions, dispels common myths surrounding dental diseases, and sheds light on forthcoming innovations in dental treatments. Here are the pivotal insights gleaned from their discussion.

Q: What is the current status of dental health in India, and what are the prevalent dental diseases among the population?

A: Dental hygiene and awareness regarding dental care are only moderately satisfactory. There’s a pressing need to address the dentist-to-population ratio. Despite a significant increase in the number of dental schools in the past decade, access to dental care specialists remains inadequate, particularly in rural and certain urban areas. Notably, dental treatment isn’t covered by insurance schemes in India, a significant factor contributing to the neglect of dental care.

Unlike issues with eyes or ears, where immediate specialist consultation is sought, dental concerns often receive less urgency, as people have 32 teeth and can switch chewing sides if one side is affected. However, this perception overlooks the importance of oral hygiene and dental care. In my 25 years of clinical practice, I’ve encountered numerous patients who neglect even basic dental hygiene, such as regular brushing.

Q: What proactive steps can individuals take to maintain optimal dental hygiene, and at what point should one seek professional dental care to prevent issues like toothaches?

A: Absolutely, you’ve touched on a critical issue. Many individuals tend to overlook the importance of dental care. Instead, they opt for over-the-counter medications from pharmacies, which is rather ironic. However, maintaining good oral hygiene is quite simple. It involves brushing your teeth twice a day, using dental floss once daily, and incorporating mouthwash into your routine. Additionally, adopting healthy eating habits and avoiding tobacco and its derivatives is crucial for dental health.

Ideally, individuals should begin dental check-ups as soon as their first tooth emerges. This means that oral health assessments should commence in infancy and continue every six months thereafter.

Q: What advancements have been made in dentistry in India compared to international standards, and what are the latest dental solutions provided by Kalra Dental Care as a multi-specialty clinic?

A: India has made significant strides in dental care and technology, mirroring advancements in other fields. The dental community nationwide has not only enhanced its education and expertise but has also embraced cutting-edge technology in their practices. Dentists from all corners of India are on par with their global counterparts, with some achieving international recognition for their proficiency and knowledge.

At Kalra Dental Care, we specialize in Single Day Single Visit Digital Dentistry Solutions. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology including in-house CBCT, 3D Dental Printer, the complete CEREC system, Laser, Piezo surgical unit, and Aquacare, we ensure world-class treatment. For dental implants, we conduct guided implant surgeries utilizing various systems such as Adin, MIS7, Dentium, and Zimmer Biomet, known for their excellence. Our services extend to providing CEREC Zirconia and Lithium Disilicate crowns and bridges in a single visit.

Additionally, we offer Dental Tourism packages catering to both international and domestic patients, facilitating travel and accommodation arrangements. As a token of our hospitality, we provide a complimentary Rajasthani cuisine dinner and a camel ride experience.

Our vision is to make Digital Dentistry accessible to all, emphasizing precision, meticulousness, and a humane approach. Bikaner, once considered a conservative small town, now boasts our pioneering and exclusive fully digital dental center.

Q: What are the prevalent misconceptions regarding dental health in India that individuals need to be wary of?

A: Dentists frequently encounter various misconceptions during consultations with their patients. For instance, some believe that cleaning their teeth weakens them, while others fear that extracting an upper tooth could harm their eyesight. These myths persist despite evidence to the contrary. Moreover, there is a concerning trend of unqualified individuals, such as quacks and roadside technicians, offering cheap and unsanitary dental procedures. Such practices pose significant risks to public health. Therefore, it is crucial to enforce strict regulatory laws to curb these malpractices effectively.

Q: What factors contribute to the perception of dental treatment being expensive, and what are some potential perspectives that could lead to a different understanding of its cost-effectiveness?

A: It’s an important question, especially for the Indian population, given that dental treatment expenses aren’t covered by any health insurance plans unlike in Western countries where dental insurance has long been available. However, it’s a misconception that dental treatment is prohibitively expensive. In reality, neglecting dental issues can end up being more costly.

For instance, ignoring dental pain, bleeding gums, or oral hygiene can lead to more serious problems. By the time one seeks treatment, the issues may have progressed beyond simple preventive measures, necessitating extensive and costly procedures. Regular dental check-ups, on the other hand, allow for early detection of issues like cavities or gum disease, which can then be addressed with basic treatments like cavity fillings or cleaning at a relatively low cost.

Therefore, my recommendation is to visit your dentist at least twice a year. This not only helps in preventing the escalation of problems but also keeps the associated costs in check.

Q: What emerging innovations and technologies can we expect to see in the future of dental treatments?

A: Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing dentistry, particularly in initial examination, diagnosis, radiograph and CBCT evaluation, as well as treatment planning and smile designing. This technology has already made significant strides, with further advancements on the horizon. Additionally, robotic implant surgery, currently undergoing trials, promises to transform the placement of dental implants, offering more precise and efficient procedures.

The emergence of 3D additive printing represents another groundbreaking development, streamlining processes and enhancing precision in dental care. Furthermore, digital dentistry equipment has played a crucial role in delivering precise and predictable dental solutions. Together, these advancements signify a new era in dental practice, marked by innovation and improved patient outcomes.

Q: What are the benefits of cosmetic dentistry and what factors determine the ideal timing for undergoing cosmetic dental procedures?

A: Cosmetic or aesthetic dentistry revolves around enhancing the visual appeal of your teeth through professional oral care. While these procedures are often chosen for their elective nature, they can also offer restorative advantages in certain cases. Beyond simply enhancing appearance, cosmetic dentistry contributes to rebuilding confidence, presenting a more youthful look, halting additional damage, refining dietary habits, and promoting overall health. In essence, cosmetic dentistry transcends mere veneers or smile redesigns, as it can also address tooth strengthening, bite correction, and alignment issues.

CEREC Primemill - Creating Dental Restorations Faster
CEREC Primemill – Creating Dental Restorations Faster
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