Street Dentists of India
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.