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Want the perfect smile?

Just walk into the new dentist’s clinic, a high tech zone that guarantees minimal pain and maximum beauty, writes Sai Raje.

health and fitness Updated: Dec 17, 2008 21:26 IST

Just walk into the neighbourhood dentist’s clinic, which is now a high tech zone that guarantees minimal pain and maximum beauty. Sai Raje gives you tips...

Picture this. You are engrossed watching your favourite movie on the media player sunglasses that you are wearing. It’s a while before you remember that you are actually in the dentist’s chair, getting a root canal. The dentist could be using a microscope that lets him zoom in to a 0.2 mm area inside your tooth. You can even watch the root canal treatment on the real time live display screen, if you like.

And if you fancy a whiter shade for your teeth, no worries, just walk in like you would into the salon for a makeover, and walk out an hour later with a gleaming set of pearly whites.
A visit to the dentist is no longer just about healthy teeth, but also about looking good. Without too much pain, of course.

“The dental clinic of today has morphed from the ‘chamber of horrors’ it was famed to be, into a plush, comforting and smart environment,” says Dr Suchetan Pradhan, CEO, Pradhan Dental Centre and president of the Indian Association of Laser Dentistry.

But this isn’t just an image makeover. Given the leaps that technology in dentistry has taken, the very nature of many commonplace dental treatments has changed to make way for faster, more accurate and most importantly, pain-free procedures. A few clinics now even offer to complete the once painful and laborious root canal in just an hour of your time. Lilavati Hospital’s just-opened multispeciality dental clinic, for instance, has a microscope that facilitates micro-surgeries, allowing more accurate surgery and faster healing with a very small tissue opening.

Dental facelift
The focus is also now shifting to feel-good treatments that dental clinics offer like smile designing or enhancement, teeth whitening and even a dental facelift.

“Twenty years ago, dentistry was all about treating the disease, a functional treatment. But today, its services extend to a lot of feel-good treatments that an increasing number of people demand,” says Dr Pradhan.

Dentists are also seeing a surge in these customers especially in the wedding season. “I have had two brides come to me this week, one for a complete smile designing procedure and another for teeth whitening,” he adds.

In fact, it was to cater to this rising demand for a wide variety of dental treatments that the Lilavati Hospital opened a multispeciality dental clinic in its premises just last week, says Dr P D Joshi, consultant root endodontist who heads the dental department at Lilavati Hospital.

“Newer dental clinics now also tend to be multispeciality ones that offer all kinds of services from tooth implants and surgeries to paediatric and aesthetic dentistry under one roof,” he says.

Also, it’s not just about the teeth anymore. As more dentists become customer savvy, it’s about offering a total feel-good experience.

There’s a kids room with games while you wait for an appointment, a massage chair to use after treatment, and digital media player sunglasses to watch movies on while having your cavity treated, at Dr Sagar Shah’s 32 Reasons dental clinic near Girgaum Chowpatty. Children even have an array of coloured-fillings to choose from for their cavities. “It’s all about the complete package,” says Dr Shah.