KOCHI: Have you ever stopped yourself from smiling just because you did not want people to see your teeth, or the absence of them? Don’t you worry. Kerala is showing the way in teeth implant, thanks to its cheaper cost and better expertise.
The story of a nonagenarian is a case in point.
Houston-based priest John Mathew, who turns 100 next year, flew down to Aluva recently for a follow-up to the implant he had done five years ago.
“I think I wasted many years of my life without teeth. Now I can eat the food of my choice and live a complete life. Why should I forego a quality living? I would recommend teeth implants to everyone. What if you’re 70 or 80? It doesn’t matter,” said Mathew, who had left Kerala nearly 50 years ago to settle in the US.
Joining him on the bandwagon of Kerala-bound foreign ‘dental tourists’ is German national Merlene Koenen, who was so depressed when almost all dentists she approached in her home country turned down her request for an implant. She was in her 40s and needed eight implants on the upper part. “At first I went to Mumbai. The doctors weren’t sure about the implant. I came to Kerala and spoke to Dr Jijo Thomas (the same doctor whom Mathew consulted), who assured me it could be done,” said Koenen, who is now nearing 60.
Relatively cheaper cost and experienced implantologists draw people from all nations to Kochi and other parts of Kerala, say experts. A teeth implant would cost between Rs 20,000 and Rs 40,000 in Kerala, while in foreign countries, it could come about Rs 2 lakh.
It is reckoned that 20 per cent of the medical tourism in the State is based on dental sector.