METRO PLUS

Pearly smile for a price

SAY CHEESE Cosmetic dentistry has come of age

SAY CHEESE Cosmetic dentistry has come of age  

Cosmetic dentistry is biting into the city dentalscape

An image too good to be true. Boy meets girl. Girl smiles displaying her perfect, 32 pearly teeth . The boy is mesmerised by her smile. His heart skips a beat. And then? And then they live happily ever after, thanks to the miracle toothpaste. How many times have we envied that girl in the toothpaste ad? Hoped and prayed that with every stroke of the brush and the magic paste we would acquire that perfect smile. But alas, the ad gurus seem to have eluded us, the consumers, yet again! Of hype and illusion, you may think. And yet, all hope is not lost, for cosmetic dentistry is here.

It is only natural that with a rising global consciousness on public image, cosmetic dentistry would make its presence felt, sooner than later. What is cosmetic dentistry all about? The term is self-explanatory. It deals with whitening of discoloured teeth, straightening of crooked teeth, contouring them... for the overall enhancement of the face and smile value. Creating the designer smile has become the new mantra. The cosmetic dentist must not just know about treating diseased and broken teeth, but also master the techniques involved in creating those natural, beautiful smiles. The results are dramatic. Tooth whitening involves several methods. Bleaching of teeth is a popular technique adopted by dentists. Certain chemicals are used with high intensity light, on teeth, causing it to become some five to six shades lighter. This may require several sittings with the dentist over a period of say, two to four weeks depending on the discolouration of teeth. The latest is the use of lasers, though that therapy is still to make its entry into the country. There are also easy-to-use teeth whitening gels available that allows one to do the procedure in the comforts of home. Though it would always be safer if monitored by a dentist.The porcelain veneer and crowns are other options being the trade secret behind most of those famous Bollywood smiles. It has its various uses as in, purely aesthetic reasons, covering discoloured or stained teeth, correcting malformed teeth, closing gaps between teeth etc. In the case of veneers, a thin amount of tooth material is removed, and after the selection of the desired shade , custom made veneers are placed on to the tooth . This procedure takes about one to two weeks. The only flip side of this treatment is the inherent costs involved. A single tooth might cost anywhere between Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000. The other affordable choices are to go in for tooth coloured/composite fillings with a myriad of desired shades to select from. Their shelf lives, however, are much shorter than the others. Dentistry has indeed come a long way, shedding its torturous image to a place where people come to find that elusive fountain of youth. So the next time you see that girl in the ad, take heart for you know from where she got that dazzling smile.

HUSNA MOHAMMAD

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