It may take you a few months to get an appointment here, but once you do, you can be sure that doctors at the Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences (MAIDS) will offer you the best dental services at the most nominal prices.
A root canal procedure that costs a few thousand rupees at a private clinic will cost you only Rs 500 here. The only hitch is that while the procedure is done in a single sitting at private clinics, it may take you anywhere between one to three months here because of the waiting time.
But the nominal rates are for general patients — all the Below Poverty Line (BPL) patients are treated for free.
“We offer all services from primary to tertiary care. The treatment and medication charges are supported by the government,” said Dr Mahesh Verma, director and principal, Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences.
The hospital gets a grant of Rs 20 crore from the Delhi government annually.
Emergency cases a priority
The centrally air-conditioned Delhi government hospital keeps computerised records to keep track of the 2.5 lakh patients it treats annually. Accredited with the quality stamp of the National Accreditation of Board of Hospital (NABH), MAIDS gives priority to all emergency procedures.
Anju (name changed), 5, was brought to the emergency earlier this week with acute pain in her teeth. The problem: Her milk teeth hadn’t fallen off, but her permanent teeth had starting growing alongside them, causing constant pain. The child, who hadn’t slept in days, would not let doctors touch her.
“We decided to extract her milk teeth, for which we needed to give her local anaesthesia in her gums. But at the very sight of a needle, Anju would lose control,” said Dr Manish Naithani, consultant anaesthetist at MAIDS.
So, they used the conscious sedation technique and made her inhale nitrous oxide gas.
“After giving her the gas for 10 minutes, the sedated child opened the mouth voluntarily for the needle jab. Within the next five minutes, we extracted her milk teeth and left her jaw line for self-correction,” said Dr Naithani. At a private clinic, the conscious sedation process alone would have cost around Rs 4,000-Rs 5,000 per sitting.
At MAIDS, the patient was charged only the nominal registration fee of Rs 10.
“Traditionally, dentistry was only for the elite. But in the last two decades, people have realised that dental treatment is important not only to look good, but also for optimal nutrition and hygiene. MAIDS offers everyone the benefits of advances in dental medicine,” said Dr Verma.
Tech-edge The hospital’s hi-tech modular operation theatre is open 24x7. “We perform complex jaw surgeries, cancer surgeries, cysts, trauma cases and other major infection cases,” Dr Verma said, adding, “It is the only government facility that offers surgical treatments round the clock in emergency cases.” The research team here is also working with the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, to develop an indigenous dental implant. “Clinical trials are underway. Once the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research approves it, we want to sell the rights to a commercial house. We aim to bring down the implant costs to as low as Rs 10,000 or even less. Currently, it costs between Rs 25,000-Rs 30,000,” said Dr Verma.
To deal with the increasing patients, a 24-hour dental emergency unit will be opened at the hospital’s new 12-storeyed building, by the end of the year. The new building will also have departments for research and development, dental radiology, anaesthesiology, oral and maxillofacial surgery and community dentistry. “We had never foreseen a daily footfall of 1,500 patients, hence expanding our existing facility, adding ICU beds, wards, PG clinics and laboratories was very much needed,” said Dr Verma.
The expansion, he said, will also help in creating additional infrastructure required for the mandatory increase of 28% OBC seats in all central universities, as per government policy.