Nothing can be more embarrassing than not being able to smile, says Vaishnavi Kailash of Mumbai. "I used to feel so bad. It was like not being able to cry when you are depressed," recalls the 39-year-old.
As her crooked front teeth took away her confidence, she visited a dentist to get them aligned. She was spoilt for choice. "There were a lot of options ranging from conventional braces with brackets made of stainless steel to the ceramic ones and even ClearPath," says Kailash. She went for Inman aligner, which just has a plate and a minimally visible transparent acrylic band. “It is high-speed orthodontics. The results are quite promising. Compared to ClearPath, it is cheaper, too," says Kailash, who has got her smile back for Rs35,000.
Inman aligner was launched in India recently. “Teeth can be aligned fast with Inman aligner. It just takes six to 16 weeks whereas other methods may require up to a year and a half," says Dr Arun Kalarikkal of Uplands Dental Studio, Bengaluru. "The patient has to wear Inman aligner for 18-20 hours a day. But while eating and brushing, it has to be removed." Inman aligner can cause more salivation in the first few weeks.
ClearPath, with aligners made of medical grade plastic, aligns teeth without the conventional wires and brackets. Clear braces are invisible and removable and have been approved by the FDA. Depending on the severity of the case, the patient will have to use 20-40 sets of aligners, one after the other. Aligning an arch costs a minimum of Rs50,000.
Now, to add lustre to your well aligned teeth, you could whiten them. People with sensitive teeth can go for composite veneers. Veneers are made of ceramic or composite resin material. They can cover the teeth, making them look whiter. Veneers are used to mask deformed or discoloured anterior teeth, too. Unlike bleaching, using veneers does not cause any discomfort. The procedure doesn’t require anaesthesia either. The effect lasts for up to six years. A single veneer will cost around 07,500. Advanced veneers do not require trimming or preparation of teeth. "Nowadays we practice minimally invasive dentistry which looks at conserving the teeth as far as possible," says Kalarikkal. Having said that, he recommends ceramic crowns, which require a more invasive method, for people with tough stains on their teeth.
A visit to a dentist used to be the scariest outing for many. "Things have changed. We believe we are in the hospitality industry. So we need to pamper the patients as well, not to forget the fact that right treatment is our forte," says Dr Gunita Singh of Dentem, New Delhi, which has five-star ambience and amenities including a green tea station, massage chairs, foot massager, baby’s room and free Wi-Fi. "We believe in painless, hassle-free dentistry. Pain is no longer in our dictionary. We even have robotic needles that will not even let you feel the prick of the needle itself."
Dentem uses lasers for surgeries. "A lot can be achieved by a single beam of ray. Lasers help us perform stitchless, bloodless and painless surgeries," explains Singh.
At Apollo White Dental Spa, a part of Apollo hospitals, one can have a scoop of frozen yoghurt or ice cream, watch a movie, get a manicure or pedicure done or play X Box gaming while waiting for one's turn. "Patients can enjoy the comfort of a high-end spa, at no extra cost. Those who come for the dental treatment are generally scared and anxious. A visit to our spa helps to comfort them," says Dr Neeraj Verma, director, clinical services, Apollo White Dental Spa. The Apollo White Dental Spa in Chennai offers Jacuzzi and sauna, too. Unsurprisingly, patients, grinning broadly, look forward to their next appointment.