According to a study conducted by Clove Dental, there has been a significant drop in dental visits across India amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Clove Clinics across the country saw approximately 45,000 patients every month (in pre-Covid-19 times), which during the corresponding months of year 2020 reduced to just 20 per cent.

The pan India data show that during the first quarter of the pandemic in June 2020, patient visits across the country stood at 9,549, down sharply from 45,979 as of June 2019. Likewise, in July 2020, it was 13,784, while in October 2020, it stood at 23,591.

However, according to the official report of Clove Clinics, the October-December 2020 quarter has witnessed a gradual rise in the number of patient visits across the country.

The report said that the decline was due to Covid-19. The pandemic has caused a decline of 63.7 per cent in preventive treatment, due to fall in patient visits to dental clinics.

Lt Gen Dr Vimal Arora, Chief Clinical Officer - Clove Dental, said in a statement: “Oral health data in India says that eight out of 10 Indians suffer from some or the other kind of dental diseases which clearly reflects that oral, dental health have always been deprioritised even in pre-Covid-19 times. However, with this pandemic, people have further delayed their dental visits for the past 10 months.”

He added: “The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare estimates that currently (2019), about 60 per cent of India’s adult population and 70 per cent of its school-going children are affected by dental caries (cavities) or tooth decay, and periodontal disease — infections of the tissue around the teeth — has ended up affecting at least 85 per cent of the population.”

The country is also considered the world capital for oral cancer. Of the total body cancers, oral cancers account for over 30 per cent of all body cancers, he added.

Dr Anirudh Singh, General Manager - Clove Dental, South West India, said: “According to the draft National Oral Health Policy, the proportion of untreated caries of permanent teeth and severe periodontitis is the maximum compared to other oral disorders. Yet only 12.4 per cent of adults have ever had their mouth examined by a dentist. Routine check-ups are a part of preventive treatments.”

“Clove Clinics have been the safest during the past nine months, and our doctors believed fully in the disinfection and sterilisation processes adopted by the clinics, and therefore, they felt safe while working in Clove Dental clinics,” he added.