DENTISTRY

Kuwait 2019 | HEALTH | B2B

Greater demand and better insurance systems have opened up the market for dentistry in Kuwait, where Sky Dental and Easy Dental are providing the latest treatments using cutting-edge technology to eliminate patient pain and keep them coming back for check-ups.

Dr. Salah Almethin
DR. SALAH ALMETHIN
CEO
Sky Dental
Dr. Hossam Ashour
DR. HOSSAM ASHOUR
CEO
Easy Dental

What is the market for dentistry like in Kuwait?

DR. SALAH ALMETHIN Until 10 years ago, Kuwait only had between 10 and 20 specialized private dental centers. Now there are at least 300. This is due to the dentists working in this sector and the new insurance system. Before, dentistry was a service mainly provided by the government, but now the government has given Kuwaitis the opportunity to choose between public and private dentists by providing them with health insurance. For example, retired people are covered by AFIA Insurance, which gives them the option to use a government clinic or go to any private dental clinic for treatment. This has led to improvements in dental clinics and also increased the number of patients being treated. Today, some ministries and companies are also providing private insurance for their employees. For example, the Foreign Ministry and Kuwait Oil Company both provide their employees with full health insurance coverage for both medical and dental treatment. This trend has led to an increase in the number of dental clinics, which has become a highly competitive sector. Dentists have to be highly educated, specialized, and have the latest equipment. If you look at the changes that have happened in our sector over the last 10 years, there are many great opportunities to invest in now. In the future, the government may add another category of people covered for private dental treatment under the government health insurance scheme.

What are the major differences between the private clinics and public hospitals?

DR. HOSSAM ASHOUR In terms of quality there is not much difference. The government has a special interest in providing Kuwaitis with good education. There are scholarships to study in well-known universities for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. These recipients then work in the government sector. Once they have been practicing for several years, they can then work in a private clinic or a public hospital. The government has six specialized centers in each area which deals with the majority of the population. This leads to an issue regarding waiting lists and making appointments. This is one of the main reasons why people prefer using private services.

What do dental patients in Kuwait want?

SA In the dentistry sector, the biggest issue is the patient's fear of pain. Now there are new techniques being introduced that create a painless experience for patients. For example, there have been a lot of improvements in the type of injections given. We have needleless, pressure injections now, which is a good start. We can use nitrous oxide to help a patient relax. If you can give a patient, particularly a child, a good first experience they will have more confidence about going to the dentist again. When it comes to the actual treatment, rather than drills we use lasers so there is no touching, vibration, noise, or pain for the patient. Lasers are also used to remove gum tissue and seal wounds. There is no bleeding and therefore no need for stitches.

HA Mainly people are interested in getting cosmetic dentistry needs. First, we advise patients of possible dental problems and concerns, including cavities or bleeding gums. We want to make sure the patient has a healthy mouth before we start working on their cosmetic needs. Patient interest in cosmetic dentistry offers us the opportunity to determine more serious issues that may need correcting. Otherwise, we only receive patients when they experience pain. In the past, there were government campaigns encouraging people to take care of their teeth and regularly visit dentists. Hopefully, insurance companies and the government will start doing this outreach again. It is the responsibility of the Ministry of Health to make patients aware of dental care.