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A growth spurt

Nationwide enrollment in dental insurance plans reached 169.6 million in 2006, according to new data from the National Association of Dental Plans (NADP) and the Delta Dental Plan Association. Officials attribute the introduction of programs to insure federal employees and AARP members as the primary drivers for last year's significant growth. Overall enrollment in dental plans was up 7.1 million from 2005, according to the Joint Dental Benefits Enrollment Report. That's up 4.5%, a distinct departure from the typical annual growth rate of about 2%.