Dental specialists transforming dental healthcare
─ specialising in Dental Implantology and Prosthodontics
─ after pursuing Master’s MOFCOM Scholarship
DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, September 17, 2019
After three years of studies, Dr. Adeline King and Dr. Ryan Richards have returned to Guyana from China, to provide specialised dental care at the Cheddi Jagan Dental School. Dr. King has a Master’s degree in Prosthodontics while Dr. Richards holds a Master’s degree in dental implantology.
In an interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI), the duo was awarded MOFCOM (Ministry of Commerce – China) scholarships to study in the specific areas of dentistry, shared their enthusiasm about giving back.
Both Dr. King and Dr. Richards believe dental healthcare in Guyana will be transformed. No longer will it involve just extractions and other primary dental services, but with their return, Guyanese can now have access to a level of specialised dental services that is usually costly and only offered at private institutions or overseas.
“A few years ago, you could not access services like prosthodontics at the Cheddi Jagan Dental Centre. However, with the implementation of these scholarship programmes, it provides an opportunity for us to complete advanced studies in specialist fields. This, in turn, allows us to elevate the local dental healthcare system,” Dr. Richards said.
Initially, Dr. Richards planned to become a Maxillofacial surgeon, but he reviewed his option while studying in China and chose Dental Implantology as he felt it would be “useful in the long run.”
Prosthodontist, Dr. King has always had a desire to help persons requiring specialised dental care. “I am happy to come back and serve. I worked in different areas before, and there is so much that I have seen in terms of my speciality. Persons may have a missing tooth or teeth or they may have a broken tooth or teeth and at that time I found most of my services limited and I couldn’t have extended service to help those persons.”
Dental implantology offers a permanent solution for missing teeth through dental implants while Prosthodontics deals with the restoration of a broken or fractured tooth or teeth or the replacement of a lost tooth or teeth either with crowns or a fixed partial denture or complete denture.
Technical Director of the local dental school, Dr. Kester Sullivan said, having the doctors at the clinic “indicates the importance of their services; they are assets to the institution and the Guyanese public.”
He added that the duo often collaborates from time to time on cases. Also, dentists working at the dental school and elsewhere throughout the country will have the opportunity to work along with these specialists and learn from them.
According to Dr. Sullivan, in recent years, the Public Health Ministry has been moving beyond extractions to ensuring there are a variety of options available through the public health sector for corrective and rehabilitative dental work. He noted that the materials required for these procedures are costly, and as such, the ministry is exploring the options of providing subsidised rates to patients so that the financial burden will not be borne by one party.
Dr. Richards encouraged persons to utilise these services at the clinic and explained that this will encourage further development in the public health sector. “We have a prime opportunity to use this time frame we have to upgrade our dental health services because with the returning of specialists in the dental field, we are no longer trying to focus on primary dental care alone but secondary as well so as to make certain services and interventions available to the general population.”
The MOFCOM Scholarship is established by the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China to further strengthen the communication and cooperation between China and other countries as well as to develop talents for developing countries.