Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My tooth WAS handled!

An amusing post title (“You can’t handle the tooth!”) from MR kindled some memories. The post points to how some tasks can be handled by dental assistants much in the same way that physician assistants (PAs) now take over some care giving from doctors and how this is possibility is being opposed by the American Dental Association (in the same way the AMA fought against PAs.

When I was growing up all my dental needs (and there were many, but more on this below) were taken care of by women (usually from villages) who had come to study to become - well I don’t know what they were studying to become but they were being trained to clean, fill cavities and all other dental care (except extraction) and they were supervised not by dentists but by other graduates of the program. (And yes, they were all women who lived in dormitories near the college. I hesitate to call it a dental college but for all practical purposes that was what it was. I don’t know if this is still the case though but the college still exists.)

Not only later when I was in the United States did I learn that only medically trained dentists were allowed to fill cavities. My two opposing thoughts were and still are:
1. They need doctors to do this!?
2. Was I getting substandard care while growing up?

I had more than my share of cavities I feel and up till today I can’t be sure if it was my bad dental hygiene or the possible screw ups that happened while I went to the college for dental care. (Yes, it was free but at the cost of being a guinea pig.)

1 comment:

Williams Schermer said...

Knowing that you have bad dental hygiene alarms me. You should visit your dentist regularly, my friend. I went to Malaysia for the Oral Health Month 2010, and I met a lot of good dentists out there with a kind heart. A little bit of research can help. Think about it. It's also for your own good.