YouTube, famous for its entertaining clips, now has a growing list of informative videos too, posted by experts on many subjects—including dentistry.

A few enterprising dentists with a bit of the auteur in them have created discussions and demonstrations of root canals and other dental procedures for YouTube in unscripted, live takes with patients.

Dr Gordon explains a root canal

The video, which runs nearly 10 minutes, was shot by a local videographer and cost about $2,000 (approx. Rs79,000). It has been viewed more than 11,000 times in the two months since it was put up.

“Do not be afraid of root canal," Gordon says at the end, as the patient, who has looked remarkably calm throughout the procedure, heads for home.

The videos have also turned out to be good for business. “They’ve definitely been a strong positive for the practice," he said. “Ultimately, a video on YouTube can drive some local people to your website."

People are coming to YouTube in increasing numbers for technical information, and not just about root canals. “We’re seeing an uptick in these types of instructional videos," said Julie Supan, YouTube’s spokeswoman—like tutorials on math and wine-making and one of her favourites, on how to play the harmonica.

“People are drawn to this kind of information," she said of the trend, which she first noticed several months ago. She added: “We’re seeing this on a global scale. The appeal of video is universal."

©2007/The New York Times

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