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If Hollywood actor Michael O’Hagan smiles back to you from the silver screen in his next film, he owes much credit for his pearly whites to a city dentist. The 68 yr old who has featured in films such as speed 2: cruise control, I hired a contract killer and acted in London theatre, has had 11 dental implants fitted at a Juhu clinic. Pleased with the “cost” and “professionalism”, he keeps returning for more procedures.

Hagan is one of the ‘dental tourists’ who make their way to Mumbai, in a trend that has been gathering momentum each year. Leading dentists say their experience with bollywood prepares them for the “needs” of tinsel town tourists, be it actors such as Hagan or models.

“My face is the source of livelihood. I had one implant fitted by a cosmetic dentist at Beverly hills, which left me writhing in pain and with a severe gum infection,” says Hagan as he contrasts it with his tryst with cosmetic dental surgeon Dr Suchetan Pradhan from Juhu.

*missing*treatment and there’s been no looking back,” he says with a wide grin.

Dr Pradhan who has been working on Hagan’s smile since March last year, says he studied the actor’s *missing* under sedation,” said Dr Pradhan. He is now down for dental face-lift.

Dentists estimate that barely 5 to 10% of their patients are foreign tourists; the statistics nearly doubling *missing* of recommendations,”

explains dentist with cranio-facial expertise Sandesh Mayekar who runs a clinic in Dadar. He points out for instance that his clientele of beauty pageant contestants have been coming through word-of-mouth recommendations.

Dr Pradhan says experience with Bollywood helps them in treating actors. “While treating an actor, we have to understand the expectations of the camera. We can’t give the bright white teeth like models as they take away the expression,” he points out.

Dentists say that’s where India scores on dental tourism for filmy-folks as compared to other popular destinations such as Singapore and Thailand, which don’t have such film industry.

For Hagan who coughed up $1000 per implant as compared to $6000 each back home in Los Angeles, it was totally value for money.

But dentists say India still has a long way to go. “There is need for accreditation before we promote dental tourism,” said an expert from the National Accreditation Board recently.

Source:  11 October, 2008, The Times of India

Dentist gives a Hollywood star a reason to Smile