Auroville Dental Centre

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Auroville Dental Centre
Dental0.jpg
Timings:
Location: Protection
Contact: aurodentalcentre"at"auroville.org.in 2622007 or 2622265
Aims

The Auroville Dental Centre applies a human-centered concept called 'zero concept' to dentistry. Children are checked regularly at schools and follow a preventive programme to reduce the need of treatment and further costs. While the rural programmes are sponsored by foreign donors and friends, the dental clinic of the Health Centre runs through contributions, and is self-supporting.

Activities of the Dental Centre include:

  • Treatment of 4,000 cases per year from the surrounding population
  • Treatment of 600 Aurovilians per year
  • Preventive care in 17 schools
  • Training of 26 village women as health community workers
  • Education in oral health for teachers, children and parents
  • Basic treatment in 13 sub-centres with hand instruments only, like scalings and 'ART technique'.

The ART technique is performed by local 'dental nurses' in the villages, where there is as yet no complete equipment (and sometimes no water, no electricity). The nurses clean the beginning of small cavities with hand instruments only and fill them with a special cement (glass-inomer) which releases fluoride to strop further decay. This technique, promoted by WHO, is used in more than 90 developing countries, solving problems of unaffordable or out-of-reach treatment.

This model of organisation and work in disadvantaged rural areas has been functioning since 1994, when the first sub-centre started. Its decentralised set-up, with sub-centres and training facilities in the local villages, can be replicated in rural areas elsewhere in India, or anywhere else in the world in similar conditions, with a drastic reduction in health needs and costs.

* Ergonomy - The technical parts of the equipment are conceived in such a way that an open space is created to allow free movements and a natural position of the operator, contrary to conventional dental chairs and other cumbersome equipment. Combined with the self-awareness of the balanced body of the performer, dentistry becomes stressless, and optimised through 'gentle hands'.

History

With the arrival in Auroville of Jacques Verre in 1981, the needs of a large number of Aurovilians and local residents were finally answered, since Jacques was a dentist. The Centre came into shape in 1994 when three special Japanese dental units were added to the prosthesis laboratory of the clinic. These were given by Dr. Beach, a famous American dentist known for his thirty years research in ergonomy* in Japan. The architecture and arrangement of these specially designed dentistry units allow for a better output for several dentists or specialists working at the same time, while also providing more comfort to the patient.