Year : 2015 | Volume
: 5 | Issue : 3 | Page : 113-
Increased life expectancy: Is dentistry in India ready?
Editor in Chief, Journal of Interdisciplinary Dentistry, Professor and Associate Dean, Department of Periodontology, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Manipal University, Mangalore, Karnataka, India
Editor in Chief, Journal of Interdisciplinary Dentistry, Professor and Associate Dean, Department of Periodontology, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Manipal University, Mangalore, Karnataka
|How to cite this article:|
Uppoor A. Increased life expectancy: Is dentistry in India ready?.J Interdiscip Dentistry 2015;5:113-113
|How to cite this URL:|
Uppoor A. Increased life expectancy: Is dentistry in India ready?. J Interdiscip Dentistry [serial online] 2015 [cited 2019 Aug 25 ];5:113-113
Available from: http://www.jidonline.com/text.asp?2015/5/3/113/181381
The aging population in India has exponentially increased in comparison to other developing nations. Moreover, it is being anticipated that the elderly in India would come close to 137 million by the year 2021, an extreme increment from 76 million in 2001. The pace of aging will go up in future as the effects of demographic transition get further defused in more regions of the country. With this surge, dentistry must evolve with the changing demography.
In India, unfortunately, geriatric dentistry has been lagging behind. Furthermore, the elderly tend to disregard oral care and concentrate more on medical care. The teeth that were maintained through adolescence and adulthood could be compromised due to their medical status. The potential risks include caries, periodontal disease, and ultimately edentulism.
The need of the hour is to change our framework of training to address this emerging trend. The instructive and practice structures presently serve the requirements of the healthy and affluent population. The dental fraternity ought to look for an interdisciplinary group to pay heed to these necessities in an organized manner. It is of extreme significance for dental experts to understand and be empathetic toward the extraordinary needs of this population. An infrastructure that will allow these issues to be better understood and addressed needs to be created.
Most of the developed countries have set up programs exclusively for the geriatric population. India, however, has not yet responded and there is still a lacuna in the dental curriculum with regards to geriatric care. There are reservations which foresee geriatric dentist evolving as a separate discipline analogous to pediatric dentistry. The oral-systemic link is particularly pronounced among older people primarily because several oral diseases have risk factors in common with chronic diseases. This paves the way for dental colleges to coordinate with their medical counterparts to set up long-term care facilities to look after the special needs of this populace. These kinds of setups can promote research and education in geriatric care. In addition to this, oral health care for the elderly can also be integrated into the community level health and national programs to promote geriatric dentistry.