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Newer dental equipment and an extended range of services has moved dentistry from the dark ages to the age of light, writes Dr Suchetan Pradhan

The dental clinic of today has morphed from the ‘Chamber of horrors’, it traditionally and historically was famed to be, into a plush comforting and smart environment. The old fashioned image of dusty dental clinics being full of patients in pain, holding their jaws while mean dentists performed heinous acts of barbaric proportions on poor miserable souls are a thing of the past. Ask a generation of baby boomers,; traumatized by old fashioned dentists that pulled out the teeth at the slightest provocation, getting them to sit on a chair has always been a uphill task. However, the same does not apply to the younger generation. Exposed to technology at a very young age, they are immediately at home in modern dental clinics. Sleek looking technology, ensconced in the lap of luxury, amongst friendly faces makes what could be a nightmare experience, now a pleasure! However it is not only window dressing, newer dental equipment, materials and an extended range of services has moved dentistry from the dark ages to the age of light. Lasers, dental implants, smile designs and bleaching are included in the new age armamentarium of services. Shedding its formidable cloak has been beneficial to a wide spectrum of species seeking self enhancement. Actors, models, young executives, children and recently dental clinics have reported an influx of brides and even bride grooms! When the temperature dips and the wedding and the party season sets in, it’s time to look your best. The dental appointment has become an integral part of any pre-party or pre-wedding preparation. A variety of smile improvement services are available but top of the list is bleaching or whitening of teeth. Thanks to savvy marketing by dental bleach manufacturers consumers are now aware that the color of teeth yellowed by red wine, Indian food and coffee, can be changed by as much as eight shades!  A two hour procedure and voila! White teeth! Next on the list is comprehensive cleaning and polishing a quick but effective way to vanish bad breath. Plaque and Tatar the number one causative agents of halitosis are ultrasonically blasted out of the mouth to leave you feeling confident and ever smiling. Crooked, discolored, malpositioned teeth that distract from the quality of the smile can be easily redone to look perfect. With a little pre planning and a few days in hand this is easily done, and is a secret to many a mantel piece photograph of a striking bridal couple that grace the houses of proud parents. A stunning smile is not only for actors, models and media people, now due to fabulous technology and the demystification and upgradation of the dental workplace, deferring dentistry is a thing of the past. More and more people now actively seek out on the dentist. It is said that you smile is the reflection of the level of civilization and modernity of a society. Are we heading there?

Brush your teeth, it’s good for the heart

Stress, smoking, lack of exercise and poor eating habits are well known causes of cardiovascular disease. But bad gums? An article in the latest issue of the Journal of Periodontology suggest that periodontal patients whose bodies shows evidence of a reaction to the bacteria associated with the periodontitis may have an increased risk of developing a cardiovascular disease. “Although there have been many studies associating gum disease, what we have not known is exactly why this happens and under what circumstances,” said  Howard University researchers revisited 11 clinics that had previously examined clinically diagnosed periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease. The team analyzed the participants’ level of systematic bacterial exposure, specifically looking for the presence of the bacteria associated with the periodontal disease, as well as measuring various biological indicators of bacterial exposure. They found that the individuals with periodontal disease whose biometers showed increased bacterial exposure were more likely to develop coronary disease. “While more research is needed to better understand the connection between the two.”

Source – Saturday 12 January, 2008

For a Million Dollar Smile