New Delhi: Dentists are marking a significant milestone this October 16 as they celebrate the inaugural World Endodontic Day. The aim is to raise awareness among the public about the critical importance of preserving natural teeth from root canal infections and unnecessary extractions. This global campaign also seeks to capture the attention of government officials and healthcare planners, urging them to prioritize oral health within the broader national healthcare mission.
The campaign, spearheaded by the International Federation of Endodontic Associations (IFEA) and the Indian Endodontic Society (IES), is championed by Professor Dr Gopi Krishna from Chennai. Dr. Krishna, also the Secretary General for IFEA, revealed startling statistics: “Half of the adult population worldwide has at least one diseased tooth with apical periodontitis (AP).” This information, derived from a comprehensive global study covering over 40 countries, including India, was published last year in the International Endodontic Journal.
Dr. Krishna emphasized, “Data from surveys conducted in various Indian cities found close to two-thirds (65 per cent) of the adult population of India having at least one tooth with apical periodontitis.” The implications are substantial, with a nationwide effort needed to combat this ailment that is projected to impact every other Indian in their lifetime, thereby straining public healthcare expenditure.
According to United Nations ESCAP data, the Indian adult population has exceeded one billion individuals, with 68 per cent facing this oral health challenge. Dr. Ajay Logani, Professor CDER – AIIMS, New Delhi, highlighted that the prevalence of dental caries in the Indian adult population stands at a staggering 62 per cent. He stressed the importance of early intervention to prevent the progression of dental decay to apical periodontitis, advocating for endodontic procedures as a more sustainable solution compared to traditional tooth extraction.
Dr. Anil Kohli, Former President, Dental Council of India, pointed out, “Loss of teeth leads to improper chewing of food and indigestion, directly impacting the quality of life.” He highlighted the significant role of dentists and endodontists in performing root canal therapy, saving millions of teeth each year.
The IFEA and IES are driving a global campaign to enhance awareness through the World Endodontic Day initiative. Prof Dr Sanjay Miglani, President – IES, shared that over 100 colleges and institutions across India are participating in a coordinated nationwide program on October 16th to improve public awareness of this silent epidemic.
Prof Dr Sangeeta Talwar, Former Director – Principal of Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences, New Delhi, stressed the simplicity of preventing this disease through periodic dental check-ups and maintaining good oral hygiene. Dr. Vivek Hegde, Former-President – IES, added that World Endodontic Day is a pivotal occasion to underscore the collective effort required to prioritize oral health in India.