Angela Sibanda, Chronicle Reporter
GOVERNMENT has acquired an assortment of new equipment to be distributed to dental centres across the country so as to improve oral health service delivery.
Health Services Board (HSB) executive chairperson, Dr Paulinus Sikhosana, revealed this during the World Oral Health Day commemorations that were held at Ingutsheni Central Hospital in Bulawayo on Sunday.
The day marked the launch of a year-long campaign to raise awareness of oral health and prevention of oral diseases and this year’s theme is: ‘Be proud of your mouth’.
“The Ministry of Health and Child Care has acquired 77 dental chairs, 37 intra-oral x-rays and 53 auto-claves that will be distributed countrywide,” said Dr Sikhosana.
Dental chairs are specially designed medical devices intended to support a patient’s body when a dental procedure is being performed.
The electrically operational chair comes with a water line, micro-motor, compressed air and is retractable as per the dentist’s requirements during a procedure.
Dr Sikhosana said the Government was already offering free dental screening services at its centres across the country that will continue up to the end of this month.
“In line with service provision, free screenings are being offered in all Government dental departments during March 2022, some private dental practitioners will follow suit and urge you all to take the opportunity and get free dental care and be proud of your mouth,” he said.
Dr Sikhosana said a national oral health survey would be conducted sometime this year to provide a road map that will guide adequate interventions.
He said the dental department was keen to reduce the number of extractions through promoting regular dental checkups to avoid tooth decay and other dental infections.
In an interview, Senior Government Dental Officer in Bulawayo, Dr Nqobile Ngwenya said 24 people come for extractions each day at the clinic’s three surgeries.
“All patients are taught to come early to dental cleanings to avoid tooth decay because we are aiming to reduce the number of extractions by 30 percent,” he said.
“The most common disease in the mouth is periodontitis, which is the inflammation of the structure around the tooth, or the infection of the gum and bones that support the tooth.
“When the gums are infected, they tend to bleed, and when the infection goes deeper than the gums, it goes to the bone and the teeth start to shake or start spacing.
“We advise people to come to the dentist early before the cavity enters the pulp to prevent extractions so that people may maintain a confident smile,” said Dr Ngwenya.
Article Source: The Chronicle