You simply cannot make such stuff up… I mean, how could you possibly imagine that such things were being done in 2014? What am I talking about? Why, about the street dentists of India, of course.
Roadside dentists in Delhi and all over India perform all kinds of dental procedures you might think required somewhat more specialized intervention. Unfortunately, the patients who resort to curbside dental treatment, subjecting themselves to “dentists” wielding medieval equipment in the process, are those with limited income. That’s all they can afford.
As you will see in the graphic images and videos that follow, there are no clinics and no costly chairs and dental equipment like drills. I guess one positive feature of this type of service is that there is no need for an appointment, either. Patients would just sit on the ground and hope their “dentist” will relieve their pain with his rusty pliers.
One of the practitioners, 67-year-old Surinder Singh from Ludhiana, in the eastern state of Punjab, dropped out of school earlier in his life, but has subsequently learned dentist skills from his father. He’s now been practicing his trade 40 years. He says:
A few decades ago I had 15 patients a day but now it’s three or four a week. I make around 2,500 Rs ($41) a month.
Nowadays only the poorest of the poor come to see me. They cannot afford these expensive clinics but they deserve to be treated too so thank god they have people like me.
He charges 50 Rs ($0.82) for a tooth extraction and 150 Rs ($2.48) for a new one. A new set of dentures cost 1,500 Rs ($25) and comes with a one-year guarantee. Mr. Singh charges no consultation fee. He explains:
We take extreme care in treating patients. We are equally skillful to high-end clinics. I have been doing this for 40 years and none of my patients have ever complained. I buy the teeth from reputable companies and so they’re the real thing.
And what about the patients, how do they feel about the service they’re getting? Well, here is what one of them has to say:
I earn 125 rupees a day and can just about afford to pay 150 Rs for fixing my tooth. The government hospitals do not have dentists and private clinics charge exorbitant fees. If there’s no street dentist where will a poor man like me go?
So, there you have it… (Scroll down for the videos.)
1. Street dentist Surinder Singh, 67, has been fixing teeth for 40 years in Ludhiana, Punjab.
2. Mr. Singh extracts teeth for $0.82; he is a school dropout but learned the trade from his father.
3. A new set of dentures will cost 1,500 Rs ($25) and comes with a one-year guarantee.
4. ‘Only the poorest of the poor come to see me. They cannot afford these expensive clinics but they deserve to be treated too’.
5. The veteran roadside practitioner says he gets replacement teeth from reputable sources.
6. Mr. Singh says his service, while on the street and without anesthesia, are equal to registered clinics.
7. Street dentists aren’t forbidden, but the Indian Medical Association is trying to change that.
And here are the videos:
Source: The Daily Mail.
Share these street dentists’ stories with your friends below — I think it is fairly certain that they’d be interested in seeing them.