Around 4,000 people across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi benefitted from the services provided by the Mobile Dental Care Unit over 7 months, during the time period from October 2013 to May 2014, according to Major Dr. Mohammed Abdullah Al Raisi, Orthodontist; Dental Clinics Branch Manager at the Medical Services Department of Abu Dhabi Police. Dr. Al Raisi said, “Most of the cases diagnosed were cavities and decay, which were more prevalent for children, and gum disease, which was more prevalent for adults.”
The Mobile Dental Care Unit’s services provided to the public correspond to the initiative, “Plants of Hope,” which was launched earlier by the police leadership. This initiative aims to enhance the responsibilities of the Ministry of Interior toward the community by providing the best medical and therapeutic services to individuals in support of the Abu Dhabi Government’s efforts to provide and improve quality services.
According to Dr. Al Raisi, “The mobile unit provides services to individuals from all segments of society. The elderly and those with special needs were the first to benefit from the dental services provided at the Ministry of Interior’s Centers for Training and Employment of People with Disabilities in Al Ain and the Al Ain Center for care and Rehabilitation of the Zayed Higher Organization for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs (ZHO). The unit continues to provide its services across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in order to increase the number of beneficiaries and reach out to people in residential areas to help diagnose dental problems and raise awareness around the importance of protecting our teeth.”
Over 7 months, the Mobile Dental Care Unit’s services covered the following areas: Zayed Higher Organization for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs (ZHO), Al Bateen Council, Emirates National School, both branches of the Family Development Foundation in Al Sila and Al Hayer, Marina Mall, Dalma Mall, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) and ICAD Residential City.
The unit provided extensive tests examining the oral and dental hygiene for each individual and educated them about the ways to take care of their teeth. Highlighting the interaction between the medical team and the patients, Dr. Al Raisi stated that the advice and guidelines were given in order to spread a culture of knowledge surrounding the benefits of good oral hygiene.
“The unit saves time and effort, and reduces the distances individuals travel across residential areas to reach public facilities. It also carries out comprehensive dental check-ups and screenings, providing the necessary advice about good dental and oral hygiene. The Mobile Dental Care Unit staff conducts medical tests using the latest equipment onboard the mobile clinic, and refers some cases to specialized hospitals,” explained Dr. Al Raisi. Moreover, he pointed out that the medical team on board the mobile clinic is qualified to offer services to people of all ages with a variety of medical conditions, through a dental surveying program that identifies the dental conditions of individuals and provides them with the necessary treatments.
Dr. Al Raisi said, “Dental cavities and tooth decay are a bacterial disease. When bacteria in the mouth mix with leftover food and saliva, a plaque forms and covers the teeth. This plaque is called bacterial plaque. If we don’t get rid of it by cleaning our mouth and teeth properly, it turns into an acidic substance that affects the tooth’s surface and dissolves it, which can erode the tooth. This erosion grows to form a cavity that reaches the dental pulp, where the nerves and blood vessels are, and this can cause unbearable pain.”
Endorsing a healthy diet, Dr. Al Raisi recommended to “Eat fruits and vegetables that contain a high percentage of fluoride and milk products that contain calcium, because fluoride and calcium are the elements necessary for healthy teeth. We should also avoid overindulging in chocolates and sweets, because mouth bacteria feed on the sugars covering your teeth and can lead to dental cavities. People, especially children, who tend to eat lots of sweets must brush their teeth, especially before going to bed.”
Major Dr. Tarek Abdullah Al Junaibi, Health Education Branch Manager at the Medical Services Department and Supervisor of the Campaign, said, “We should focus on public health education, especially when it comes to oral and dental hygiene. We should provide the public with guidance and medical advice, urging people to take care of their teeth to avoid cavities, gum disease and other oral and dental problems. Avoiding a bad diet is just as essential as the educational process that raises awareness about how to follow proper guidelines for healthy living.”
459 ICAD workers’ teeth diagnosed
The Mobile Dental Care Unit provided its services at ICAD Residential City in Musaffah, as dental teams examined as many as 459 workers. The workers received advice on ways to protect their teeth and to regularly get dental check-ups.
Major Dr. Mohammed Abdullah Al Raisi, Orthodontist; Dental Clinics Branch Manager at the Medical Services Department of Abu Dhabi Police, said, “The unit conducted an initial oral and dental examination to detect the early signs of decay, infection or even tumors of the gums. The medical staff offered medical advice to the workers about caring for their teeth and gums. Free samples of antiseptic mouthwash and toothbrushes were distributed to each worker. They were also educated on the proper brushing methods, which can help treat gum infections, reduce tooth decay, and prevent bad breath, because they contain fluoride.”
The Mobile Dental Care Unit provided dental diagnostic services to ICAD workers, in a gesture that reflects the civilized image of the UAE and its philanthropic approach in dealing with this segment of society. The necessary care and attention offered is a reflection of the humanitarian efforts made by Abu Dhabi Police.