Karachi’s Roadside Dentists

By Anjum Khan 

Road side “Dandaan saaz,”the poor man’s dentists:-😓
The phrase Neem Hakeem “khatra e jaan” sits best on these road side Dundaan saaz (self acclaimed Dental physicians) .. more then their audacity and confidence of playing with the health of the poor wretched patients in their unhygienic perched on the floor clinics I marvel at the People who go actually go there , I mean without any hesitation, they calmly sit on the floor by the dirty dusty side walk shop,waiting for their turn to open their mouths in their unhygienic dirty hands and tools thus inviting hoards of infections to climb in… The mere thought, gives one shudders.
You must have seen lots of these self declared Dandaan saaz in the Sadar area in Karachi,situated mostly where the Chinese dentists clinics are there, They r seen waiting to catch customers by the road side while sitting on a plastic mat or a small stool, waving the flies away,
Their shops usually adorn a big colorful poster showing a bright red color a wide mouth denture.
Their tools of trade consists of a small shelf with some odd looking single sets of teeth in side .. a dark color old plucker to yank out peoples teeth in distress and some manjans and tiny bottles of God knows what kind of liquids in them in the name of medicines.
These Quacks swear they have been in this trade from generations so that’s their excuse to not to have any degree needed, their Nuskhey have been around and passed on from generation they claim .
Some of these slightly privilege Quacks
have put their stuff on ready made stalls so I’d say they r slight better off in comparison from their counterparts sitting on the floor in their out look, but definitely not in their non skills and hygiene one bit.
Every day passing by them in my ride back home from school /college I would see people sitting on the floor with their mouths gapped open to these dandaan saaz and having it checked.
Agreed most people who go there have not enough money to seek help of real doctors .. so they seek help from these quacks hoping to get the much needed help to ease off their pain in minumum amount of money asked for in return.
Sadly that is the stark reality 😕.. when one is in pain and there isn’t enough money to get help for the cure then “Martey kia nahi kertey”people seek help from what ever is available to them that they can afford.😓
These poor people are only doubling their problems in return by seeking help from the unhygienic, dirty, filthy means and fake medication used by these quacks in the name of dentistry.

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About Amin H. Karim MD

Graduate of Dow Medical College Class of 1977.
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