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Times of India
27 April 2011
By Ravikiran.Deshmukh

Country’s first scheme for oral care gets nod, to be launched in June
Flash a Toothy Grin, Dental Insurance to be Reality Soon
If the rising cost of dental care is compelling you to frown, here's some good news. Four public sector insurance firms will offer a soon–to–be–launched insurance cover for dental care, very likely by June this year, said Dr Ashok Dhoble, honorary secretary general of Indian Dental Association, the apex body of dentists which has 29 state–level branches with an affiliation of 50,000 dentists.

Unlike general health insurance which mandates a minimum period of hospitalisation, no such clause will be binding to claim dental insurance. Cosmetic dentistry will not be included under the insurance scheme.

Two schemes of assured sum of Rs 20,000 and Rs 70,000 – Rs 80,000 will be launched. The apex body had approached the Union Finance Ministry for approval of the scheme in in 2003. The proposal was since pending with various bodies for an approval.

A few months back, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority, the watchdog for the insurance sector, approved this scheme. The insurance cover will now be offered by General Insurance, New India Assurance, Oriental Insurance and United India Insurance.

Survey Findings Shocking
Dr Dhoble said that surveys by marketing firms engaged in oral healthcare reveal that in a population of 1 lakh, up to 70,000 (80%) children suffer from dental problems and an equal number of adults have gum–related diseases. Only 1,400 (2%) of them approach dentists, and only 56 (40%) of them take treatment. Also, almost 40 per cent of cancer patients have oral cancer, which will be covered by the insurance scheme.

Saying Cheese
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