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26 December 2008
by Laxmi Birajdar
A beautiful smile can win over anyone. Now, is it too much if you have to spend a few thousands for such a smile? Well, not, say the people visiting city dentists
There are more to the changes in lifestyle than just pretty clothes. A bright smile, for instance, can be a style statement too, provided you have a great set of teeth. If not, all you need to know is the address of a good dentist.
It’s a fact. Changes in our lifestyle are reflecting on our oral hygiene with people from all age groups heading to the dentist. They aren’t just getting a root canal done or a broken tooth capped, but also opting for fancier dental treatments, better known as cosmetic dentistry for that picture perfect smile.
Vijay Deshmukh, who specialises in dental implants, makes an interesting observation. “These days, patients demand dental implants because they know the advantages of such a treatment.”
Priced anywhere between Rs 25,000 to Rs 40,000, a dental implant can be performed within a span of 20 to 60 minutes. The patient’s psyche, when it comes to paying for such a treatment, too has changed. They don’t mind those dental treatments anymore, says Deshmukh, who attends to some 20 patients per month, as against to not more than eight a few years ago.
At the same time, dental tourism is on the rise, he says. “This involves non-resident Indian (NRIs) and foreigners coming to India for dental treatments done as these treatments are six to ten times costlier in their respective countries,” says Deshmukh, who have patients from countries such as Sweden, Spain and the US.
Dentists say it is a costly affair as the treatment costs are calculated as per the infrastructure in the dental clinic, the inputs for each patient and the other costs. “But the awareness about dental treatments has definitely increased among people,” says orthodontist Ravindra Sable.
Cosmetic dentistry includes everything from having that perfect smile, covering stains on the teeth and covering gaps between teeth to use of veneers on teeth, tooth–bleaching, tooth–whitening and composite resigning. “There’s increased awareness about the cosmetic dentistry, especially among the youth. Depending upon their affordability, patients don’t mind spending money on such treatments,” says dentist Piyush Heda.
A lot of research is going on in the field cosmetic dentistry. With different methods and materials available to implement such treatments, people in their 40s and 50s too are opting for cosmetic dentistry, says Heda.
Even the Indian Orthodontists’ Society is trying to spread awareness among people about the various treatments available.
Given the impact of media and the rising number of accidents in the city, those opting for maxillofacial surgery too, are on the rise. From removing post–accident discrepancies and cancerous tumours in the face and the mouth to getting a finely chiselled jawline or a picture perfect smile, oral maxillofacial surgery does it all. “Those in the marriageable age want the best of smiles or a proportionate facial structure. They want such corrections to build their confidence and improve their personality,” explains oral maxillofacial surgeon Kiran Gadre.
One jaw surgery costs upwards of Rs 60,000. “But with a changing financial status and better social impact, people have the liquid money and the willingness to go for such treatments,” Gadre adds.
The Indian Dental Association (IDA) is raising awareness among the people about the different kinds of dental treatments available in the country. Currently, Pune has around 1,500 dentists, out of which some 300 are members of IDA’s Pune branch. “We want to bring the dental fraternity in Pune city together by conducting workshops and seminars on the latest treatments,” says Vivek Pakhmode, president of IDA’s Pune branch.
The Cost Factor
Orthodontic treatment: Between Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000
One–time jaw correction: Upwards of Rs 60,000
Bonding per tooth: Over Rs 1,000
Implant: Around Rs 15,000 per tooth
Bleaching: Between Rs 1,000 and Rs 2,000
Bridge: Above Rs 20,000