Street Dentists of India

Author: Dental Geek
01.19.12 / 12:21 pm

What do you know about the street dentists of India? Before writing this post, I knew nothing. I knew there are areas in the world lacking dental care, but I didn’t have a full understanding that in India, it was quite normal for someone with no formal training whatsoever to perform dental procedures.

Luckily, India’s street dentists are vanishing, as the country now has 80,000+ licensed dentists with degrees and offices, and the number is growing rapidly. However, with fewer than 100 Indian street dentists left practicing, the reality of these services is chilling.

A typical street dentist in India has a tray laid out on the ground, covered with a few dozen used dentures. Patients come and go, and the dentist’s hands go straight from one patient’s mouth to another. Flies buzz around the patient’s wide-open mouth, and rest themselves atop any blood that may have poured onto the concrete. Molars are ripped out of a patient’s mouth with a pair of rusty old pliers. This work is typically performed for 100-200 rupees, or 2 US dollars.

The video below paints an amazing portrait of the state of dental care underprivileged people are subject to. The reality we take for granted of materials such as anesthetics, protective garb, autoclaves and chemiclaves is all too clear. Please watch the video for a true visual of what some people have sadly experienced. Although, I must warn you, you may not have the stomach to watch it all.

Dental Geek

Dental Geek

9 responses to “Street Dentists of India”

  1. I was OK until that woman at the end who got her tooth pulled. Well, except for all the flies. Just goes to show you how good we have it here.

  2. So he takes the protective cover off the needle (without wearing gloves) and what does he do next? Slides his dirty bare fingers up and down the needle shaft. Yea, that’s safe and hygienic! And this line is classic: “I don’t find this job difficult at all. Because I’ve done a lot of technical work… I know how to repair bicycles!”

  3. Scary how easy we have it for the grace of God there go I. Thanks for showing us this we all need to see it if just to help us understand how grateful we should be.

    Everyone needs to see this, keep up the good work.

  4. This is definitely a NO for me and I do not advice people to try it themselves. Dental procedures must only be done by highly qualified dentist and not just by anyone else. Plus the cleanliness of the area and the medical tools are also another factors to consider.

  5. We actually do not recommend street dentist, but people do prefer them because they are cheap and are not aware of the unhygienic conditions which can cause severe infections.

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