There are nearly 2 dental clinics in India with another 25,000 dentists graduating and adding to this ever-growing list every year. On the contrary, the Indian dental services market has only 2% penetration and is growing at a somewhat snail’s pace.
The mismatch in the growth rate of service providers and the lack of proportionate growth in demand are creating problems in the Indian dental sector. This excess supply leads to lower prices and idle capacity which can eventually become a powerful cause of treatment cost inflation leading to further contraction of services.
Should dental seats be reduced? The results of the market survey actually point in a completely different direction. According to the Indian Dental Association of India, 98% of people have dental problems and 60% of parents are unaware of their child’s dental issues. And all this while the penetration rate of dental services is only 2%.
! The reason why the population of India suffers from dental complications stems from the ignorance of the importance of preventive oral care and timely treatment of small dental problems.
In addition, the majority of people avoid or delay getting dental help for fear of exorbitant fees, adding to the misery. However, a stitch in time will provide a nine. Keep in mind that the cavity can be easily filled for Rs. 500 or less but if left untreated, this same cavity may require root canal treatment. The cost of performing an RCT is more than Rs. 5000 by complexity.
However, misinformation regarding the causes and treatment is the reason why root canal treatment has become a mainstay of dentistry today. Approximately 67% of all treatments involve root canal therapy. There is also a misconception that people have that a dental problem will take care of itself. Fever, cough or cold in most cases cure itself but not that cavity or gum problem or tooth decay. For this, one will have to go to the dentist sooner or later. The more the better certainly in this case.
Gum disease is more prevalent in a developing country like ours due to ignorance of the population and non-standard treatment costs. It seems that losing or extracting teeth is easier for people than a consultation and cleaning every six months which helps prevent tooth loss. Intensive treatments like braces, braces, dental implants, dental sealants, etc., are not considered by the majority due to the fear of a pocket dent.
Dental Insurance: The Gamechanger
Dental insurance can change more than just the economic point of the case, it can take the nation’s common oral health to another level. Although some organizations partially address this issue, it is time to consider more structural matters such as financial compensation in treatment costs.
Overall oral health will positively improve as more people come to receive preventive care. Clearly, help with finances will put off those urgent treatments that are needed today.
To put this in a more direct way, an overall increase in insurance plans will reduce concerns about affordability in relation to oral health and add significant numbers of those seeking dental care annually. The aforementioned may help India in its inclusion among countries like the US which has a dental penetration of 77%.
The opinions expressed above are those of the author.
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