India is one of the world’s fastest-growing dental markets and is on track to establish itself as a major player in the near future. It has expanded due to an increase in the public health awareness campaigns, a rise in subsidized healthcare expenditure, and overall economic growth factors contributing to oral hygiene as a priority in Indian households. Further potential for expansion is necessary among the rural population as about 90% of dentists are currently based in or near major urban cities. This expansion will need to be based on technology and innovation with dental equipment manufacturers expanding their operations across India to gain a foothold in the burgeoning Indian dental market. Dr. Namrata Rupani, Founder & CEO, Capture Life Dental Care shared her views on India’s dental healthcare sector. Excerpts:
As a dental expert, what are the ways in which the government can help spread awareness about oral hygiene and dental care among kids and the youth?
The government has been very proactive and instrumental in introducing oral hygiene and dental care programs among kids and youth. From regular school visits to promotional content on maintaining healthy dental routines, the government has partnered with several public and private players to achieve a systematically synergized and widespread oral health framework. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has envisaged the National Oral Health Program (NOHP) for an affordable, accessible, and equitable oral health care delivery in a well-coordinated manner for bringing about “optimal oral health” for all. By promoting and developing preventive services with general health care to the public, the government, and specifically the NOHP has been able to integrate Public-private partnerships for achieving its public health goals. The Government of India has been assisting the state governments to implement dental care along with other ongoing health programs at various levels of the primary health care system.
What are some of the new-age innovations and technologies in dental care that are transforming the dental industry in India?
In India’s dental industry, there have been enormous advances in technology. Cosmetic dentistry is on the rise as more people are willing to spend money on their appearance and redefine their personality. Some prominent innovations like invisible tooth aligners are gaining popularity as they are less painful and more comfortable. The CAD and CAM technologies use advanced 3D printing software to create customized and precision-fitted dentures and crowns that are precise and even cost-effective. Many dentists are now detecting tooth decay with diode lasers, which is a more advanced method. High-tech X-rays provide a more complete picture of the patient’s dental health and can assist in the detection of tooth cavities. Even innovations like the intra-oral camera have helped dental visits to become more comfortable as it allows the dentists to capture images and project them on a screen, for larger visibility. Lastly, the pandemic disruption gave rise to teledentistry and this space has witnessed a rapid adoption among more and more patients. Tele dentistry is a branch of telemedicine concerned with dentistry that handles the entire process of networking, sharing digital information, remote consultations, workup, and analysis. Teledentistry has been a boon to especially those who are unable to travel or visit the dental clinics due to health or other reasons.
With the rise in digital adoption among key sectors, how do you see digital playing a role in the dental health space?
Digital has been a catalyst for innovation in a wide variety of industries, and the oral health sector is no exception. These tendencies were evident throughout the pandemic and are now being incorporated and integrated into conventional methods and practices. These trends, such as online consultations and teledentistry via digital platforms, continue to pave the way for a dental industry-wide digital transformation. AR and VR technologies are employed in conjunction with programs or technologies to enhance dental practitioners’ competence and capability. Digital solutions are being integrated into our existing physical dentistry studio in order to increase response rates for follow-up sessions, coordination, and communication with patients about their oral health and ongoing recovery. The increase in digital adoption enables patients to interact with and obtain dental consultations from oral health specialists irrespective of their location and time zone. As a sector, it is vital to integrate innovative digital solutions with traditional services, as patient expectations have evolved in sync with the increasing use of digital engagement.
Comment on how post-pandemic normalcy will influence the dental care business.
The Covid 19 pandemic majorly impacted the dental care business as travel restrictions and scheduled surgeries had to be postponed or other alternatives had to be explored to assist patients. It was a challenge to continue our practice in such a high-risk condition as the viral transmission was through the mouth and dental work would need to be conducted with the highest precautions in place. However, with the reduction in the cases and the restrictions being lifted, we are witnessing a resurgence in the dental care business. The post-pandemic normalcy has also helped facilitate the rise in prolonged dentistry procedures and surgeries. Some of these oral hygiene procedures prominently include cosmetic dentistry, which is becoming increasingly popular among the country’s urban residents.
As a woman entrepreneur, please share your success mantra for young budding entrepreneurs.
As a female entrepreneur, I believe that working consistently and intelligently toward your goals and objectives will enable and empower you to accomplish what you believe in. In a male-dominated society, it might be difficult to instill that sense of confidence in one’s talents. However, things are improving today, and women entrepreneurs now have ample opportunities to make it big in their own professions or sectors. I am indebted to people that believe in my dreams and have continually pushed me to broaden my numerous endeavors and personal progress. Over the years, I have cultivated a disciplined routine, and smart work habits while also having sought out mentorship from those who have already walked the path to excellence. Additionally, I believe that time management and emotion management are critical in today’s fast-paced society to allow for sufficient rest and recuperation. On a personal note, I hold myself accountable for my actions and accept full responsibility for my failures, as these failures lay the foundations for a successful future. To young aspiring entrepreneurs, I would emphasize the importance of establishing an awareness of oneself as a leader and the ability to overcome obstacles with a sense of never giving up on your dreams.
Share the journey of Capture Life.
Capture life began its journey in 2017 as a combined venture that encompassed my dental practice, photography, and fine art printing business. Capture Life Pvt. Ltd beautifully encapsulates my professional endeavours and my passion for art and photography. As a dental health expert, my dental practice at Capture Life Dental Care offers 360-degree scientific and long-lasting oral care for the entire family. We achieve this by creating a positive experience on every visit and consultation. Capture Life Studio, on the other hand, is where I am empowered to engage in my passion for photography and capture those real and raw moments and expressions. In this pursuit, I am assisted by a super talented and dedicated team of passionate photographers that accompany me in bringing these occasions to be photo-framed for a nostalgic reminiscence down memory lane. These verticals lend themselves to being exceedingly rewarding, and satisfying while also being intricately woven to constitute the essence of ‘Capture Life.’ Under the brand, I continue to pioneer businesses that capture the real elements of life and this approach has played a distinctive role in advancing my professional and personal growth.
Specifically, highlight your role as a dental practitioner and what are your expansion plans?
We are continuously expanding and upgrading our dental practice to become one of Hyderabad’s leading dental care destinations. Since its inception, our guiding vision has been to reach out and provide long-term relief to the dental health sector. We have a cutting-edge digital OPG that will be updated to a CBCT shortly. This move will aid us to optimize our diagnostic and treatment programs, empowering us to reduce the time it takes for our customers to recover. We also collaborate with leading and recognized laboratories for our dental treatment, which is equipped with advanced technology and infrastructure to deliver precise readings and faster results. Infusing innovative digital solutions has helped us save valuable time and enhanced our overall efficiency and effectiveness to improve and expand our reach in the city and beyond.