The Dental Council of India (Code of Ethics) regulations clearly states that-’A Dental Surgeon shall not make use of himself (or his name) as subject of any form or manner of advertising or publicity through any mode either alone or in conjunction with others’.
The viral Instagram ads of a dentist promoting ‘At Home Dental Services’ has been doing rounds when the Karnataka State Council took immediate action and notice were sent to three dentists promoting ‘Dentist at Doorstep’ kind of services on 5th of July,2021.
A brief information regarding these start ups and the services that they are providing are as follows;
It is an oral health tracking app with artificial intelligence based scanning .This mobile application used to track and focus on dental health conditions from anywhere. The idea behind it is to use mobile technology to increase the awareness of dental care and services as most of the people in India use smartphones.
The app has a sensing feature in which it will be able to scan the oral cavity using camera features in the mobile. It has been heavily promoted on Instagram using phrashes which are deemed to degrade the dental proffession.
Toothsi is promoted as ‘India’s first & largest at-home teeth alignment service’.
As the patient books an appointment, a toothsi professional reaches their home and take a 3D scan of their teeth (they could also get a scan at a partner clinic).A team of orthodontists then create a 3D smile plan and deliever the aligners to the doorstep of patient while promising to continuously monitor the treatment.
SmileFerry is another Home Consultation services which gets dentists to visit patients home for comprehensive examination and providing treatment plan.Not only this, they promise to do all non-invasive procedures at patient’s home itself while referring them to their clinic for invasive procedures. They even have a visiting technician to take impressions if needed.
The question here is, Are such Urban Clap type of services acceptable in a profession like ours?! Or is it degrading the value of hard work that we put in establishing and running a clinic as per all norms?!
Why is it unethical?
Home dental services have not been duly approved by the Dental Council of India. Advertising through digital media and other sources using mobile App and promotion of a dentist is illegal and unethical according to the provisions of the Dentist Act.
Read the full act here: Download
What questions have been raised by the State council?
- Is the AERB certification done for the portable X-Ray unit?
- Do you have KPME registration done and renewed annually?
- How are you addressing the contamination of drain lines with blood and other contaminated fluids while providing treatment?
- How do you dispose all the waste that is generated while performing a procedure—Used gloves, syringes and needles, used cotton, any tissues, impression materials, etc.?
- What protocols do you follow in case the patient needs an emergency medical intervention?
- What safeguard do you have if the patient files a complaint against you for robbery or theft during a house visit?
- How do you audit all the disinfection and sterilization protocols to be followed during a treatment?
- How are you addressing the contamination of drain lines with blood ?
All the concerned professionals are given a period of 7 days to reply with all supporting documents, failing to which may lead to initiation of legal action as per the Dentist Act.