An in-depth article analysing the the situation of dental quacks in India and wha the Government and dentists can do to correct the situation.

Real life story of dental quacks and roadside dentistry. How & why such roadside dentistry is still existing?


(Before we start – Its an issue that we all including the Govt. ignores. You might not even go till the end of the article covering all 5 slides as it’s not very glamorous. It’s the unclean side of dentistry. But this is one of the major termite eating away the future of new generation dentists. Its just not the dental quacks, its the reason why they are existing and low oral health value in the majority of the population that lives outside your comfortable city.)

DO share the article if you feel to raise the awareness –  Lets Start

Let’s get some points & facts clear from the beginning.

There are on average 30,000 BDS graduates passing yearly in India.

Out of them, around 15,000 open their clinic in the first 3 years.

By an estimate, the dental practice sector in India is around 10 million dollars (That’s a rough estimate)

So what does all these facts and figures indicate ? ? ?

  1. The fact is yes there is an exponential rise in the number of dental students and practitioners.
  2. At the same time,  the dental market is also huge starting from the urban cities to the rural areas. 
  3. There is a huge amount of Financial Turnover on Average taking all the dentists collectively.

Then What is the reason that dental profession is having an average overall loss for the fresh graduates.

Here we are not talking about Individual profit of any particular dentist who has been practicing for some years.

The success of any profession depends on one question – Are the young graduates able to succeed financially or are they failing? If on an average majority of the fresh graduates are failing to have a profitable practice then there has to be a logic.

And one of the main logic behind it is the presence of Unqualified Dental Practitioners.

You might think its not widespread as you don’t see then on a regular basis.

But they exist. They have evolved from street dentistry to more updated forms.

They slowly consume the money from the practice of qualified dental graduates.

It may not be affecting the senior dentists but it surely affects the young ones.

In this post, we are not trying to talk against anyone.

We are just trying to raise the awareness for our dental community.

It’s high time this much neglected and taken for granted reason is sorted out.

In this post, you will see up close the dental quacks in Asia/India and the condition of the work they provide.

Warning : Some images may not be easy for your viewing. (In 3rd/4th/5th Slide)

So you have been notified before hand

Let’s Start : How Quack Dentistry started in India ?

See Next Slide

The History Of Dental Quacks In India

Dr. R. H. Ahmed was perhaps the first certified dental practitioner in India. He enrolled in the University of Iowa School of Dentistry, earning his dental degree in 1915. Dr. Ahmed then worked in the Forsyth Dental Infirmary for Children in Boston, Massachusetts, until 1918. In 1919, he returned to India to open a dental practice in Calcutta.

In 1920, Dr. Ahmed founded the First Dental College of India, which was financed by the New York Soda Fountain in Calcutta. Dr. Ahmed published the First Student’s Handbook on Operative Dentistry in 1928. And he tried his best even in that time of 1940s to remove dental quackery and also to relocate them.

1947 China Town – Dental Center Of India

During the independence and just after independence dental practice in India was an unregulated market. Calcutta used to be hub of these practitioners. Most of them were Chinese as dentistry was treadionally practiced by them. They used to make good money. Soon many Indians learned the craft. That time there were no regulations on dental practice. Rich aristocrats used to go to long time working dental quakes and the other poorer section used to go to other Indian Quacks.

The quacks of that time used to have a degree called RIMP (Registered Indian Medical Practitioner). But officially there was no such degree. Most of the Indian quacks that time were either barber, monks or blacksmiths.

With time dentist act was formulated and gradually dentistry became a full fledged stream. But unregulated dentistry kept on prospering.

See Next : Why dental quackery still persists ? What are the ground reasons ?

What Is The Reason Of Wide Spread Dental Quackery ?

Tajinder pal : A quack in Punjab border area says – I mostly provide service to rural areas. I go to the most remote villages where no government doctor will go. There I go once in a month and provide dental care to all the villagers and tribes and outcasts. They can’t go to the city or afford prices of dental clinic. For them, I am the healer. If I don’t treat them, there is no one else to treat them.

image source :

India is a vast country. Country of more than 25 states and 15 languages and more than 20,000 villages. The most serious reason for prevailing dental quackery right from the days of independence –

The absence of primary health-care approach in Dentistry.

Yes, it’s the most simple yet the most crucial factor.

Unequal & Uneven Geographic distribution of Dental Colleges All Over India.

Its not about how many dental colleges are there.

It’s about how the dental colleges are distributed.

Most of the colleges in each of the Indian states are concentrated in the Urban centres.

So cities are becoming the hub for dental treatment.

Check out this quack dental clinic in a remote village at Bangladesh border.

In case of dental treatments they have no option but to go to such clinics. image source : Dr. Baig

So what will a poor farmer with a painful tooth do ?

Will he spend his hard earned money to first go to city and then spend additional money to get the tooth extracted or filled by coming multiple times.


He is forced to go the nearest located dental quack and get it done.

This is a very simple thing that no Govt. seems to Understand.

You want quacks to be eradicated then open more dental colleges and distribute them properly in the geographic Indian targeting rural areas in particular.

So many Dentists but Still Quackery Is There ?

Are You To Blame ?

See Next Slide

So Many Dentists & Still So Many Dental Quacks!

An average fresh dental graduate faces a lot of problems.

You the dentist and the reader know all about it .

And these problems are one more factor Quackery Is Still Persisting !

Contributing Factors

Extremely high competition

Higher cost of dental education and higher cost of opening a practice

Low Dental Awareness in the rural area and no one doing anything to raise the awareness.

After spending so much money in education dental graduates just want to work in the city.

Very few ever think about targeting the rural areas. So dental quacks take over.

We are always attending big seminars and CDEs being conducted by various dental organizations. But even after all the show quackery still persists. Why ?

All will give big dialogues on how Rural Health Awareness should be Encouraged. Buy not even one will go to  the village and try to do it. So the quacks take over as the rural patients don’t know much about dental health or treatment. So who’s to blame ? The quacks or the govt or the established docs who neglect the rural areas ?

The Holy Sidewalk Dentist Baba from Varanasi

Source : Dave Adair Photography

He has been practicing for many years like this. He says in all the modern clinics the poorest can’t go. Who will reduce their pain. Govt. hospitals don’t treat them well. So they come to me and I help them out. Isn’t this a failure of the Tall Dental Awareness Programmes that the Govt. & Dental bodies claim about.

See Next Slide :

The Real Life Road Side Dental Treatments on Patients 

(Warning : Some pics might shock you)

Harmful Effects Of Dental Quacks!

image source : youtube

  1. Dental quacks perform many dental procedures like extraction, fixing the tooth, filling the tooth, dental bleaching & excavation of caries.
  2. They don’t have proper instruments and they mostly use modified old instruments. Instruments are not autoclaved.
  3. Local anaesthesia is not administered properly. Many times alcohol is also administered to reduce the pain sensation by sedating the patient.

These quacks are very good in giving a cheap low quality material dentures that just fits. They use self cure acrylic directly intra-orally and fit them over gums.

The quacks provide all these treatments at dirt cheap price and for poorest of the patients that is the catch.

Complete dentures are given stability using suctions. This produces a negative effect on the palatal bone leading to bone resorption. If one start enumerating then there are many adverse effects. The list will keep increasing.

These photographs were taken around 9 years back by Dave Adair on his trip to India. Here the dentist quacks duo provide dentures and extract in their road side shop. Just have a look at the entire sequence of dental procedures that were snapped by Dave Adair.

Source : Dave Adair Photography

The Patient before treatment

Dentist Baba 1 preparing & shaping the denture on road with non dentist tools

Happy Patient ! ! !

Dentist Baba No.2 Giving LA for extraction

As per the photographer – He pulls out the heavy artillery, and the girl isn’t even sitting down – she’s squatting as Mr. Less-Colorful-Dentist CRANKS on her tooth.

We don’t know why she didn’t faint, because we almost did.

Extraction Done

As per the words of the She used a plastic bucket to rinse out her bloody mouth and spit into the gutter. But she doesn’t look any worse for the wear – and she said it didn’t hurt. She looks older, but she’s only 14.

Call For Action ? What’s the Solution?

Please answer faithfully how many quacks you have seen properly. They are there but still they are difficult to spot.  You as an individual doctor and the govt. needs to analyze the situation properly. Putting the quacks behind bars will not give a permanent solution. They also have families to run .

Things that Govt. & Dental bodies can do to correct the situation ?

  1. Don’t just put all the quacks in jail and pat your back. The best option is to train them and relocate them. Teach them the basic sterilization process, first aid courses, instruments. Why ? See point 4.
  2. Govt. should invest money, time & infrastructures to raise health awareness in rural areas seriously.
  3. Don’t just force the doctors & interns into village areas with the dialogue that – Service to Mankind is Service to God. They are already doing that. Pay them adequate money to justify their sacrifices. Then they will feel appreciated for their efforts and work more.
  4. Govt should open more Dental health centers in all the villages and appoint doctors to provide dental service with proper pay. In those health centers relocate the quacks to act assistant or helper to dentists and give them some pay. Pay the doctors adequately and reduce the cost of treatments.

See Below the Shocking Pics of Dental Quacks in India & Abroad 

Dental Quacks in India | DENTALORG.COM

Dental Quackery is prevalent in India and world over for many years. Many dental quacks all over the world practice the road side dentistry providing many basic dental treatments like fitting dentures. But this whole practice is unethical, unhealthy & unscientific. Tough it provides the poor patients with cheap treatments but they are damaging the patient oral health.