The prevalence and incidence of dental diseases and its burden across India remain largely unquantified and unreported. According to the World Health Organization, 80% of the global population suffering from oral diseases live in developing countries, indicating that oral diseases are strongly correlated with low income. India being a developing country is plagued with oral problems, mainly among the rural population. Lack of knowledge and addiction to substances are the major reasons behind this phenomena.
Having an experience of more than a decade in oral care and treatment, Dr. Virendra Kumar Gupta, sat down for an interview, where he talked about his learnings as a doctor.
Interviewer: Please tell us something about your academic and professional background.
Dr. Gupta : From class 1 to 8th I have been a student of Saraswati Shishu Mandir Khada from where I had passed out in 1991. I completed my higher schooling till 12 at Mahatma Gandhi Inter College (1996). I did my BSc from the same college and BDS degree from Kothiwal Dental College and Research Centre, Moradabad, UP. I completed my degree in 2009. Presently I am working as a Dental Surgeon at Bela Dental Clinic, in my hometown.
Interviewer: What has been your experience like, being a dentist?
Dr. Gupta : During my long tenure as a Dental surgeon I have seen some interesting trends, such as I have seen that in India, the female population is more susceptible to dental problems, than the male. Probably this can be attributed to lack of proper nutrients. Also there is a large number of instances of oral cancer and other oral diseases as a result of substance abuse, mainly tobacco.This is more prevalent among the rural population. Oral hygiene practices, especially in rural India, are still based on tradition and culture like use of charcoal, mishri, miswak/chew sticks, and use of fingers There is lack of awareness among both the rural and urban population and they don't visit a dentist unless it becomes truly necessary. The most common advice that I give to all my patients is to brush twice a day and get an oral checkup done every 6 months.
It is also disheartening to see that a lot of children below 5 years of age are having dental decay and pain. Parents should avoid giving chocolates and biscuits to such young children. I urge all parents to show their care for their children by developing a healthy lifestyle among them from a young age.
Interviewer: Apart from your profession, are you associated with any kind of social work?
Dr. Gupta : Yes for the past 10 years, I have been organising free dental checkup camps at my clinic, every Saturday for those who cannot afford such services. I firmly believe that health is for all.
Interviewer: Did your school have any impact on your life?
Dr. Gupta : Yes of course. The teachers at our school taught us the importance of discipline, hard work, honesty and serving the society. These are a few lessons that I carry with myself till now. My school is an important part of my life and I visit it quite often during festivals and events.
Interviewer: Would you like to share any message with the Vidya Bharati students?
Interviewer: Everything that a child needs to learn is taught by Vidya Bharati schools. The only message that I can give to the students is to work hard and follow the lessons taught to by your school.
Vidya Bharati thanks Dr. Virendra Kumar Gupta for taking out time and sharing his experiences with the community.
If you are a Vidya Bharati alumni and want to tell your story as well, please email your contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get in touch with you.