Postgraduate Institute for Public Health Worhers, the Ministry of Health of the Khabarovsk region
The article raises issues about the organization, accessibility and quality of mass prosthetic dental care in the USSR in the second half of the 20th century. The author focuses on the medical, social and economic problems that arose in the provision of this type of medical care, as well as on the actual circumstances and day-to-day carrying out of these dental practices. In the author’s opinion, the country created a system of territorial, financial and social equality in the provision of this type of care that should have provided the country’s population with functionally comprehensive dental prosthetics. Central and local authorities sought to increase the availability of this type of care for different social groups, however, this was achieved at the expense of quality in medical organizations’ work. The set of measures to improve the availability and quality of dental prosthetics included a quantitative increase in infrastructure, the solving of human resource shortages, a search for additional funding sources, a production increase, modernization and re-equipping of the material and technical service base, an expansion of the production and range of expendable materials and instruments for dentistry. Ways were sought to stimulate the work of medical institutions and specialists. However, the then existing approaches to planning and development of this type of medical care did not always lead to improved dental prosthetics practices and increased health and social problems. The low demands set by patients for dental prosthetics’ functional and cosmetic characteristics allowed professionals to conduct their work at a low level, only meeting people’s minimum needs for this kind of care.
Keywords: USSR, dental prosthetics, dentistry, prosthetic dentistry, dentist