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NRI dentist to treat patients in Rajasthan

An Oxford-based dentist of Indian origin is using Christmas holidays to travel to a remote village in Rajasthan to offer dental care.

india Updated: Dec 25, 2007 12:38 IST

An Oxford-based dentist of Indian origin, who has never visited the country of his parents, is using Christmas holidays to travel to a remote village in Rajasthan to offer dental care.

Amit Mohindra, 28, is visiting Rajasthan as part of a charity organisation's efforts to enlist volunteers to offer dental care to the world's most needy people. The cost of the visit is being met by Mohindra and has been organised by the charity Teeth for Life.

Mohindra, who works at the Diamond House Dental Practice in Oxford, told the local media: "Despite being of Indian descent, I have never actually visited the country of my forefathers. This is an ideal way to go there and help a really worthy cause at the same time.

"I have been working for five years and things are going well for me, so I just wanted to give something back. I am staying in a small village which is not near any cities. I know where it is on the map, but I do not know much about it other than that.

"I am a bit nervous. I have spoken to another dentist who was there in the summer and they said the accommodation is quite basic, with lots of snakes and creepy crawlies."

The information with the charity organisation is that the majority of people living in Rajasthan do not suffer from much tooth decay, because there is a naturally high amount of fluoride in their water. But they suffer from gum disease.

Mohindra told the Oxford Times, a leading local daily: "I'll mainly be meeting the local need for emergencies, like taking teeth out. I'll also do a bit of hygiene work and hopefully some education work as well.

"I understand it'll be very busy when I get there. They announce it on loud speakers when you arrive and villagers queue up for help. The fact there's no dentist there all the time makes a real impact. When they have toothache it can be very stressful for them.

"Here we get emergency dental care within 24 hours, but people there often have to wait weeks. If you have a problem with your teeth it can affect your diet and your whole well-being."

Mohindra's wife, Tina, 27, will join on the trip, which is due to begin on Thursday. The couple plan to blog their experience on the Diamond House website. Mohindra said: "I'm going to write down my experience because I want to get it published in one of the dental magazines, to encourage other dentists to take part."