“Family Dentistry” More Profitable Than “Cosmetic Dentistry”
Is cosmetic dentistry dying, or is it just in hibernation for the recession? There is no doubt that consumer interest in cosmetic dentistry, as judged by searches on Google, has seen a steady decline. (Red arrow below.) The interesting thing is that the decline goes all the way back to 2004, the first year that statistics were kept. This decline progressed even in the face of a steady increase in news media references to cosmetic dentistry. (Green arrow below.)
What this tells us is that even while the dental industry was beating the drum, consumers weren’t being swayed by the hype. The question is: has the dental industry exhausted the consumer demand for cosmetic treatments?
Let’s look at “Tooth Whitening,” another segment of the industry that has seen a tremendous growth in the last few years. Again, we see a significant drop in consumer interest.
Now let’s contrast this with the results for “Dentistry” in general. Interest in dentistry is slightly up over the last four years.
Now for the big one! Interest in the term “Dentist” (as found in search terms like “Dentist Chicago” or “Dentist Miami”) has been steadily going up for the last four years. This has been understandably tempered with a slight drop in the last six months starting with the collapse of the financial markets. Overall, this tells us that consumers are looking towards the internet to learn more about dentistry and to find a dentist in their area.
What it says about cosmetic treatments is more troubling. We are seeing a long-term drop in consumer interest that transcends the current economic recession. Further, we are seeing this drop in cosmetic interest in the face of a dental industry that has geared up tremendously over the same period with increased doctor training, better materials, equipments and massive marketing. It is not a pretty picture.