The emphasis of the public service is in preventive dentistry targeted at pupils in
schools. A network of 184 static field clinics within the schools and 6 mobile
clinics provide a range of dental services such as basic dental care, oral
hygiene care, oral health screening, dental health education and dental counseling.
The school dental programme, fluoridation of potable water (since 1958) and the
widespread availability of fluoridated toothpaste have brought dental decay and
tooth loss to a very low level. A survey in 1994 showed that a child at age 12
has only one decayed, missing or filled tooth; and that 97% of our population
at age 18 did not lose any permanent tooth because of dental decay.
Outside of the school clinics, dental care is primarily delivered by private
practitioners. To a smaller extent, the Government provides dental care at
military camps, polyclinics and public hospitals. Specialty services and
training of postgraduates are undertaken at the National Dental Centre and the
National University Hospital.