For almost 30 years, Pramod (Bob) Soparkar has been bringing Forsyth’s expertise to bear in the Middle East, while setting the paradigm for children’s oral health in Kuwait. In the 1980s, Soparkar and his colleagues at Forsyth were invited to Kuwait to establish a comprehensive oral health care program for the Kuwaiti people. Today, more than 250,000 children are cared for in the Kuwait-Forsyth School Oral Health Program.
The program, led by Soparkar, is highlighted by the World Health Organization as a model initiative. Children in the program are screened for dental problems and receive preventive and restorative care. They study good oral health practices in the classroom, families are given dental hygiene information, and training is offered to more than 400 members of the professional staff.
In addition to leading the Kuwait program, Soparkar conducts clinical research with a focus on the study of the distribution and determinants of oral diseases, the short-and long-term assessment of new and promising prophylactic modalities, and the implementation and evaluation of public health programs involving prevention and/or care. Soparkar has carried out clinical studies on craniofacial growth, dental caries in adults and children, gingivitis, plaque, plaque pH, calculus, tooth sensitivity, stain and tooth whitening.
In 2011, he helped integrate the Forsyth-Kuwait Healthy Lifestyle Study into the school-based program. Under the leadership of Forsyth colleague Max Goodson, this program is using saliva to learn more about diabetes.
“We started in Kuwait the same way we started out in the United States,” said Soparkar. “We wanted to stop children from suffering the pain of tooth decay. Today, our goal in Kuwait is not just oral health treatment, it’s also education and prevention—not just for oral infection, but for systemic diseases that we are linking to oral disease.”
Bombay University, India, BDS, 1950, Dentistry
State University of Iowa, MS, 1956, Orthodontics
Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, DMD, 1960, Dentistry