Bombay Dentures

My son, an Assistant Professor of Anthropology, is an expert in Bombay’s alternative economy. He has spent much time in India studying the vast street economy.  This week he was there to deliver a paper at a conference. As is his habit, he strolled about the city investigating the vast array of vendor stalls. He emailed me that he had met a man who makes acrylic dentures in “a tiny informal workshop.”  They sell for $10 each; “basically, they are dentures for the poor.”

I was very interested in the photos that accompanied the email. I wonder what training this man has. Did he train as an apprentice? or more formal training? I carefully studied the photos. The methods are primitive compared to the sophisticated computer technology that we in the U.S. have available and the sanitation is surely lacking: rubber bands to hold the upper and lower teeth together, a stapler and lighter lying nearby, a broken air vent. But this man is supplying teeth so poor people can chew better and look better and at a price they can afford. What can be better than that?  My son asked me in his email: “Not sure if you will be impressed or horrified!!”  Impressed! for sure!

 

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