New Delhi: For young or old, a visit to a dentist was seen as a painful experience. Only bleeding gums and toothaches could push people towards dental clinics. Things have changed now as growing numbers in India, conscious of the way their teeth appear, frequent dentists to get whitening, correction or decoration jobs.

Ekta Chadha, smile designer at the Smile Studio, said, "There is a substantial growth in the number of people seeking better dental health as well as having better teeth presentation."

Usually celebrities would avail themselves of dental-related cosmetic treatment, but this is no more restricted to the glamour industry, says Shikha Giri, consultant prosthodontist and implantologist at the Seven Hills Hospital.

"We have people from all walks of life coming to us to have their smiles beautified. Corporate people, air hostesses, lawyers, doctors, and even housewives and teenagers are more than eager to improve their smile," Giri said.

The cost for dental cosmetic treatment starts from Rs.1,000 and can go up to Rs.150,000.

Tooth whitening and bleaching are among the most sought after treatments as smoking and caffeine are among the principal culprits.

"Bleaching per cycle costs around Rs.8,800. The duration depends on the frequency of intake of tea, coffee and the like, but roughly it ranges from one to two-and-a-half years," said Giri.

Rachana Doshi, aesthetic and cosmetic dentist, Bright Whites, Mumbai, suggested that people who consume coffee or tea frequently should opt for in-office whitening.

"In-office whitening usually has a better effect because of slightly higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide," Doshi said.


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