Alvi calls for preventive steps to reduce oral ailment


President Dr Arif Alvi on Friday said that as curative dentistry had more financial implications, particularly for a developing country like Pakistan, dentists should think out of the box to promote preventive dentistry through public awareness of oral hygiene.

The president, addressing the inaugural ceremony of the International Oral Pathology and Aesthetic Dentistry Conference held here, said preventive healthcare was more important as tertiary care was costlier and unaffordable for Pakistan.

Urging the participants comprising oral pathologists, dentists, professors and students, he said that regular brushing of teeth provided almost 99% of prevention from oral diseases. He said Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) also taught the frequent use of Miswak as had been evident from around 20 Ahadith.The president, also a renowned dentist, shared the success stories of his career in dentistry which marked massive awareness campaigns on oral health which created a win-win situation for both the private partners as well as the field of dentistry.

Highlighting the importance of dentistry, he urged dentists to establish their collaboration with the people to promote oral hygiene and recalled the successful oral hygiene campaign run during the COVID-19 pandemic in collaboration with all the relevant stakeholders. He said the professional dentists needed to reorient their approach as the quantum of preventive healthcare in their education was not as required. They should broaden their narrow focus to help people achieve prevention against oral diseases, he added. He said the professionals would have to change their paradigm for the maximum benefit of the people to pay back the huge financing made by the country on their higher education.

The president, who earlier also inaugurated the first oral cancer registry, said after oral hygiene, the focus should on the prevention of oral cancer. He advised against the use and sale of betel and other relevant addictive items leading to oral cancer.