I can remember one post in my Facebook account – ‘Smile while you still have teeth’. The World Oral Health
Day that falls on March 20 carries the theme, ‘Smile for Life.’ A smiling face is the index of a healthy mind
and the primary condition of a good looking smiling face starts with good teeth. Despite the introduction of basic healthcare facilities, Indians continue to be affected by numerous dental diseases. These include oral cavity, tooth decay, gum disease, facial pain, tooth loss, oral cancer, malaligned teeth and mouth odour. In rural India, the awareness about the importance of oral hygiene and dental care is very low. Lower disposable incomes of a considerable part of this section have also been posing constraints for the development of dental healthcare. While the dental healthcare services are available in many areas of the county, the standard of care is often not at par with dental care services in many developed countries.
The National Oral Health Pro-gramme notes that 95% of adults in India suffer from gum disease, 50% of the citizens don’t use a toothbrush and 70% of children under the age of 15 have dental caries. Potential of the dental industry in India Advancements in dental technology, equipment, and procedures have enabled a new era in dentistry, giving consumers a good reason to smile. “With over 5000 dental laboratories, 297 dental institutes, the Indian dental market is vast and it is predicted that India will be the single largest country market for dental products and materials. The dental market is expected to have a growth rate of 20% to 30% with investment groups building multispecialty hospitals offering general dentistry and specialist treatments,” said Dr. Kamlesh Kothari, renowned maxillofacial and dental surgeon based in Kolkata.
The current dentist to population ratio in urban area is 1:9000 and in rural areas it is 1:200000. The value of dental equipment and laboratories market itself is about $90 million annually.
“A large portion of dental products are imported in India. About 85% of India’s annual requirement is supplied by Germany, USA, Italy, Japan, and China. Most of the imports are in the implants segment. Foreign companies are investing in the Indian dental equipment market by establishing their production units in India. India is rapidly becoming a manufacturing hub for supplying dental equipment and material to countries like Pakistan, Africa, Sri Lanka, and parts of West Asia,” he added. The potential size of the dental market is vast and India is slated to become one of the largest single country markets for overseas
dental products and materials. The huge population and the sustained rapid economic growth the country is experiencing, continues tocreate tremendous demand for better healthcare.
Expected growth rate
Taking into consideration over 1,25,000 dental practitioners, 20,000 fresh graduates annually entering the workforce, which is expected to swell to 2 25 000 shortly, and with 290 dental colleges in India which is the largest number in the world, the market for dental equipment and material is estimated to be around $ 38 million annually, with an increase of 25-30%. It has grown by more than 50% since 2005 and is expected to quadruple to $150 billion by this year. The private healthcare providers also account for the largest share of the country’s health expenditure. The public spending on urban and rural healthcare is 23% and 30%, respectively. Private agencies account for nearly 75% of the urban and 66% of the rural healthcare funding.
“The total market for the dental equipments and materials in India is estimated to be around $ 50 million annually. The potential size of India’s dental market is vast and it is expected that India will shortly become one of the largest single markets for overseas dental device and materials exporters which is increasing by 25%-30 % annually,” stated Dr. Kothari.