BENGALURU: “Tum cha piyo, tab tak daant ready hojaega. By the time you finish your tea, your new teeth will be ready,” Sheikh Anwar, a self-styled dentist at KR Market tells his customer.
People travel from Hubballi, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu to get temporary teeth fixed from him, claims Anwar. He says fancy teeth in different colours are available in the market, but he sticks to the natural ivory toned teeth for his customers.
He buys his supplies of dental accessories such as mirrors, dentures, tweezers, pliers, spoon, scissors and solutions from a pharmacy story near Sajan Pav circle.
Sheikh Eijaz, who has fixed temporary teeth for several police constables says he buys his medical supplies from a wholesale medical store in Basavanagudi. “I am one of their most loyal customers. Our association has been one of over decades. The pharmacist there is a close friend now,” smiles Eijaz.
The 55-year-old takes three minutes to make one tooth and an hour to make a full set.
All of them work with a liquid solution and two powders — pink and white — for their practice. The Ashwini powder is mixed with a liquid solution to make the teeth. The measurement of the tooth is done and once the new one is ready, Eijaz fixes it into his customer’s gums. The teeth he makes are temporary.
“I advise customers to remove the teeth when they are eating meat. You can remove it and put it back again as and when you want,” he says. Another practitioner Eijaz Pasha, 38, says the police never harass them. “Neither the municipality officers nor the cops bother us,” he says. The works of these practitioners violate Chapter V, Section 49 of the 1948 Dentist Act, which demands that dentists, dental mechanics and dental hygienists should be licenced.
A lot of dentists and doctors stop by when they are in the market inspecting their work. “They come to the stall, pick up the solution and go through the bottles of powder. They tell me this is not how dentistry is done, but I have never got into an argument with them,” says Pasha.
People from Dharwad, Belagavi, Chennai and Maharashtra who visit the city for work or pleasure also make it a point to get a tooth appointment with Pasha, he claims.
If an elderly person doesn’t have enough to pay to get their tooth set, Pasha, Eijaz and Mohammed Salman Khan do it for free. “Their happiness is what counts. I can always earn with other customers,” says Salman. Doctors stopping by to critique their work or concerns of hygiene don’t bother these practitioners. “I don’t take tension when they stop by. I have the people’s support,” says Pasha.
All the practitioners City Express talked to claim to only make and fix teeth and said they send their customers to a clinic if approached for tooth extraction or to get infections treated.