Indian Journal of Dental Research

GUEST EDITORIAL
Year
: 2009  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 135-

Vision and challenges for dental research worker


M Rahmatulla 
 Founder President, Indian Society for Dental Research, Founder Chairman, Indian Academy for Advanced Dental Education Aiwan e-Rahmath, 8-1-332/3/103, Aziz Bagh Colony, Tolichowki, Hyderabad 500 008, India

Correspondence Address:
M Rahmatulla
Founder President, Indian Society for Dental Research, Founder Chairman, Indian Academy for Advanced Dental Education Aiwan e-Rahmath, 8-1-332/3/103, Aziz Bagh Colony, Tolichowki, Hyderabad 500 008
India




How to cite this article:
Rahmatulla M. Vision and challenges for dental research worker.Indian J Dent Res 2009;20:135-135


How to cite this URL:
Rahmatulla M. Vision and challenges for dental research worker. Indian J Dent Res [serial online] 2009 [cited 2020 Aug 4 ];20:135-135
Available from: http://www.ijdr.in/text.asp?2009/20/2/135/52879


Full Text

Priorities for research vary depending upon the disease burden and socioeconomic conditions. Hence, thrust areas of research are not the same for the developed and underdeveloped countries. The goals on oral health for the 21 st century was outlined and approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), Federation Dentaire Internationale (FDI) and International Academy for Dental Research (IADR) in the year 2003. [1] In working towards these goals, it is fundamentally important to recognize that oral health is inseparable from the health of whole human body, mind and spirit and from the society in which the individuals' function. [2]

The prevalence of disease in Africa and Asian countries including India are different. The WHO has thus emphasized the worldwide spread of chronic non-communicable diseases, cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders and cancer. [3] For developing countries like India with a moderate morbidity rate, considerable attention has to be focused on unsafe sex, unsafe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, tobacco use, high blood pressure, alcohol and high serum cholesterol levels. [1],[3]

Diseases of affluence that dominate the developed countries include those associated with tobacco, blood pressure, alcohol, cholesterol, overweight and physical inactivity. The genetic predisposition and environmental agents in pathogenesis of oral disease, and risk factors contributing to dental caries, periodontal disease, oral cancer and human immunodeficiency (HIV)-associated diseases should also be recognized. [1],[3]

The attention of dental researcher should be focused on efforts for prevention and management of oral disease and promotion of oral health through primary health care, tobacco cessation and encouragement of healthy diet, exercise and healthy lifestyle.

Recent report on burden of diseases in India and a multicentric oral health survey reported by Shah et al., [4],[5] have revealed the prevalence of dental caries to be around 40 to 45% and periodontal diseases in more than 90% of the Indian population, malocclusion in 30% of children, endemic fluorosis in 17 out of 32 states affecting 66 millions and oral cancer 12.6/100 000 population.

Yee and Sheiham [6] have cautioned that in the low-income countries, traditional, operative treatment would exhaust total health budget and hence preventing disease and promoting health is the only viable option.

Oral health policies and research priorities vary depending upon the nature and severity of oral health problems. For example, in Africa, the major oral health policies and programs are noma and HIV/AIDS centric due to high prevalence of the aforesaid diseases. [7] Whereas, in India tobacco-associated diseases, such as oral precancer, oral submucous fibrosis and oral cancer, need more attention followed by periodontal disease, dental caries and dental fluorosis. [7] Hence, in India, oral health policies and research should be targeted towards these diseases.

The WHO through its resolution (No. 60.17) has made several recommendations for oral health promotion and integrated approach for disease prevention. It recommends regular, periodic surveillance of oral disease and development of health information system, which would keep the goals of oral health in tune with the international standards. [8]

References

1Hobdell M, Clarkson J, Petersen PE, Johnson NW. Global goals for oral health, 2020. Int Dent J 2003;53:285-8.
2Johnson NW. Research priorities in dental science and technology in Asia and Africa. In: Rahmatulla M, Shah N, editors. Research priorities for meeting oral health goals in the developing countries. India: IAADE; 2009. p. 11-4.
3World Health Organization. The World Oral Health Report 2003, oral health programme, non communicable disease prevention and health promotion. Geneva: WHO; 2003.
4Shah N. Oral and dental diseases: Causes, prevention and treatment strategies. In: Burden of Disease in India. National Commission on Macroeconomics and Health, ministry of Health and Family Welfare Govt. of India; 2005.
5Shah N, Pandey RM, Duggal R, Mathur IP, Rajan K. Oral Health in India: a report of the multicentre study, Ministry of Health, Govt. of India, WHO; December 2007.
6Yee R, Sheiham A. The burden of restorative dental treatment for children in third world countries. Int Dent J 2006;52:1-9.
7Shah N. Oral health promotion and disease prevention in India. In: Rahmatulla M, Shah N, editors. Research priorities for meeting oral health goals in the developing countries. India: IAADE; 2009. p. 59-65.
8Watt RG. Strategies and approach in oral diseases prevention and health promotion. Bull WHO 2005;83:711-8.