By Sumiya Shah
Srinagar: Patients have to wait for months to get an appointment for root canal treatment at the lone government dental college and hospital Shreen Bagh, in Srinagar.
A root canal treatment is done when the root of a tooth gets damaged or infected, and involves drilling a canal to the root, disinfecting it, and then filling and sealing it back.
“After several days of increasingly painful toothache I went to this hospital. After cursory examination, doctors advised a root canal treatment. But the appointment date which I got for the treatment is after four months,” Farooq Ahmad Sofi, a patient said.
Until his appointment doctors had prescribed him painkillers, but they failed to relieve his pain. “It hurt so much I couldn’t open my mouth properly and the doctors are telling me that you have to wait for four months, we couldn’t do anything,” he said.
Doctors say appointments are distant because of the huge rush.
“We are receiving 15 to 17 patients every day for root canal treatment and each patient needs to have four visits for four phases of treatment, which delays appointments for new patients,” an official in the hospital said.
“The number of doctors is same as it was few years back. From many years no recruitment of doctors has been done. Only house surgeons and PG doctors have to deal with root canal patients. We have lot of work pressure as we don’t have time to move our heads for second,” a house surgeon said, on condition of anonymity.
During root canal or endodontic treatment, the inflamed or infected pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned and disinfected, then filled and sealed with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. Afterwards, the tooth is restored with a crown or filling for protection.
Medical Superintendent, Government Dental College and Hospital, Dr Syed Qaiser Jah said the hospital had enough doctors.
“There is heavy flow of patients and as it is a long process patients have to wait for some time,” he said.
“We have enough doctors as well as dental chairs for the treatment of patients. We have made every facility available for the patients.”