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Million $ smile @ Rs 10,000/tooth

health-and-fitness Updated: Apr 08, 2008 23:56 IST
Lalatendu Mishra
Lalatendu Mishra
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

A smile, they say, brightens up the dullest face. But what happens when you are reluctant to flash those pearlies, simply because they’re a tad uneven or discoloured? It’s a problem faced by many people who aren’t blessed with that perfect set of teeth.

If you are not afraid to spend as much as Rs 10,000 per artificial tooth, that million-dollar smile can be all yours thanks to modern dentistry.

“Professionals, educators and business people need to smile at work. There have been several instances where people have lost confidence due to a missing tooth or disorderly teeth,” says Dr Suchetan Pradhan, head of Dentistry, Hinduja Hospital, “This is where tooth implants through minimal invasive surgery help change lives”.

He adds: “These days people don’t mind spending to get tooth implants even after 60, which is considered a middle age now.”

Pradhan who gets about 15 patients per month on an average for tooth implants says: “Solutions are available starting from few thousand rupees to Rs 60,000.”

“The dental implant market is growing at over 100 per cent year-on-year. From 50,000 dental implants currently, it is set to grow to 100,000 implants by 2010,” says Sameer Bhat, Country Manager, Noble Biocare India, which markets the five-year-old Procera technology for dental implants.

Now the Swiss major has embarked on a World Tour to educate dentists and patients on the benefits of tooth implants and a new dental implant concept called ‘Tooth in an hour’. This is a next generation Procera technology that is touted to make getting a new tooth faster and less painful. The Swiss major is optimistic about Tooth in an hour’s role in popularising dental implants.

“Planning and pre-manufacture of the device has helped in popularising dental implants all over the world and India offers huge opportunities,” says Noble Biocare’s executive vice president Robert Gottlander.

“The Indian market offers exciting opportunities for the 2 billion euro dental implant industry. India has 38 million upper-middle class and higher-income group people and the dental implant penetration is not even 0.1 per cent,” says Gottlander, adding: “There are about 150 million Indians with one or more missing teeth and as the global market leader, it is our responsibility to educate people to access the latest technology to change their lives.”