Latest News

Health minister wants more focus on prevention of tooth decay

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Print this page Email A Friend!

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Health, Dr Christopher Tufton says greater focus needs to be placed on the prevention of tooth decay, noting that dental professionals are well qualified to spread the message.

Delivering the main address at the University of Technology (UTech) 7th Annual White Coat Ceremony at the institution's Papine campus on Tuesday, the minister pointed out that the cost of treatment is a challenge for the majority of the population, and the National Dental Sealant Programme is to ensure that the culture of prevention starts at an early age, and also to give care to the most vulnerable in the society.

Tufton said the Government will be expanding the sealant programme, and is depending on the professionals to assist in encouraging more persons to practise proper oral hygiene.

The minister noted that last year, the programme catered to approximately 20,000 children from six to 12 years of age.

He explained that as part of a 10-year strategic plan which the ministry is undertaking, as well as the restructuring of the Regional Health Authorities (RHAs), changes will be made to include how oral health is enhanced.

Tufton told the new dental professionals that over time, he is hoping that they will be engaged in the public health system, even if they are in private practice, “because of the new approaches that we will develop to mainstream and integrate oral health in the public sector”.

The minister urged the new entrants to the dental profession to be high on customer service. “Care with compassion is absolutely critical; if you do that, you are going to see that the reception that you get from patients will be significantly enhanced,” he told the gathering.

The White Coat Ceremony is used to celebrate the transition of dental students from preclinical to clinical year. Students who have displayed mastery of the required techniques and knowledge are qualified to be awarded and donned with white coats.

The College of Oral Health Sciences at UTech offers the Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD), Master of Science in Dental Therapy, the Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene, the Bachelor of Science in Dental Laboratory Technology and the Diploma in Dental Assisting.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon