YOGYAKARTA – Basic Health Research in 2007 showed that 72.1% of Indonesian populations are affected by dental caries. Moreover, in the past 12 months, as many as 23.4% of the population complained of having oral and dental problems. Unfortunately, only 29.6% of them seek help and get treatment from health workers. "This indicates the low level of awareness and the poor public service given by dental workers," said Dean of Faculty of Dentistry UGM, Prof. Dr. drg. Iwa Sutardjo R.S., SU, Sp.KGA (K), on Wednesday (30/6).
To celebrate National Dental Health Month 2010, a free dental check is held at the Faculty of Dentistry. Attending the occasion were Secretary of Yogyakarta Provincial Government, Ir. Tri Harjun Ismaji, M.Sc., Director of Prof. Dr. Soedomo Mouth and Dental Hospital, Prof. Dr. drg. Munakhir Mudjosemedi, S.U., Sp.RKG, Chairman of the Regional Executive Bord of Indonesian Dentist Association of Yogyakarta, Prof. Dr. drg. Sudibyo, SU, Sp.Perio, and Marketing Manager of PT Unilever Indonesia Tbk., Hernie Rahardja.
Iwa added that the free dental check up will be held for three days, starting today until July 2, 2010. At least 3000 members of the public and primary school children will have their dents checked in this event. He said that more than 300 dentists are ready to serve the patients. "In total, there are more than 300 dentists from PDGI and the Faculty," he said.
Iwa explained that the Faculty has already a good oral and dental hospital equipped with facilities and competent experts. During he event, the public will get one treatment, such as a simple filling that does not involve neural dental treatment, or removal without complication of deciduous teeth or permanent teeth, or cleaning of tartar.
Senior Vice Rector for Administration, Finance, and Human Resources , Prof. Ainun Na'im, Ph.D., said that dental health is an important issue because it involves the body's overall health. The people's attention and knowledge are still lacking. "So, it is important to promote dental health to the public, including children," Ainun said.
Meanwhile, the Governor of Yogyakarta, Sri Sultan HB X, represented by Secretary of Yogyakarta Province, Ir. Tri Hardjun Ismaji, M.Sc., said that there is still public misunderstanding regarding dental health. They more often go and buy medicines to relieve their dental pain without going to the dentist. "When your teeth and mouth feel sore, they immediately buy drugs in shops. It is not that simple, we need to educate the community who do not understand," said Tri Harjun.
UGM is the first of 13 universities in Indonesia that will hold a free dental check up. This activity is expected to increase public awareness of the importance of maintaining healthy teeth and mouth, which is by brushing your teeth regularly and correctly every morning after breakfast and at night before bed. This is important because proper teeth brushing will increase the body's resistance to dental diseases.