Better Teeth Make You Look Smarter

Your teeth look fantastic! You must be rich, happy and intelligent

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) recently conducted a study on how people’s teeth affect how they are perceived. Respondents saw a random sampling of “before” and “after” photos of cosmetic dentistry patients, and were asked to rate each person along several dimensions (attractiveness, intelligence, happiness, success, and other positive attributes).

The pictures of those who had had cosmetic dental work were rated higher along all dimensions. That means that people with better teeth were perceived as smarter, more attractive, happier, more successful, kinder and wealthier than those with crooked or dingy smiles.

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Is It Time Write Off Cosmetic Dentistry as a Market?

Cosmetic Dentistry Is a Shrinking Market These Days

Last week’s editorial, Is Cosmetic Dentistry an Industry or an Art?, continued to question the future of cosmetic dentistry. Once again, I got a lot of interesting comments. (Highlights are mine.)

“Has the dental industry truly understood consumers’ need sets, or is it the Hollywood, glamour that is being sold to the wealthy minority? How many consumers can afford the average $5,000 mouth, let alone $10K, $20K, or even $30K? Is it vanity that the industry is selling?”

Herb Young

“I disagree with Dr. Young when he says that consumers cannot afford to put 10-30K into their mouths. These same consumers have the latest phones with service at $100 plus per month, they travel, they have the latest car models and multiple Big Screen TVs. They have the money and the discretion to spend it. Dentistry is undersold!!”

Dr. Harry A. Long

My job is to look at the stats and calculate (some would say pontificate) on the future viability of various aspects of the dental industry. There is no doubt that consumer interest is waning, and it is a long-term trend.

cosmetic dentistry web trends

The first question is why? Has cosmetic dentistry exhausted the market of the wealthy and vain? The vast majority of the world wakes up every morning, brushes their teeth, looks briefly in the mirror and moves on. What do they see? Their teeth, the same ones they see every morning. They are used to seeing them as they are: stained, crooked, chipped.

The reality is that the vast majority of the world does not think that much about their teeth. Unless of course they are in pain or are looking for a mate. And even that isn’t always true. (What else could be the excuse for Prince Charles’ mouth?)

Second question: is there still a viable market for cosmetic procedures?

With a little research, we were able to find the top ten cosmetic dental search terms in Google and the number of searches. You might want to quibble about “Veneers” as being really about wood or Formica, but when you search the term, the results are overwhelmingly dental.

cosmetic dentistry web trends

What this data tells us is that over 585,000 people are searching for information each month about some aspect of cosmetic dentistry. Is it time to write off cosmetic dentistry as a market? Is there still a viable market? Absolutely! At least on the Internet.

Should you be spending more money on cosmetic training, equipment and marketing? That will be next week’s editorial.

Post your comments

Best Tooth Whitening Methods Revealed by Dentists

Best teeth whitening methodsWhen it comes to teeth whitening, dentists say custom-fit bleaching trays for at-home whitening are the most effective option. Three-quarters of the dentists in this survey said it works great.

Dentists feel that in-office gel bleaching and laser teeth whitening work okay, but they are not impressed with store-bought teeth whiteners.

“The at-home custom-fit tray whitening method works best,” said one dentist. “Over the course of several days, the patient can control the degree of tooth whitening to her own preferences — something that cannot be said for the other methods. And once the custom trays are made, the patient can easily and efficiently perform the later ‘touch-ups’ that inevitably will be needed with the passage of time.”

“Who trusts a pimply faced kid at the mall to whiten their teeth?” asked a California dentist.

“Any monkey can whiten teeth,” said a Florida dentist. “The art is whitening to the fullest extent possible, which varies from person to person; and then to do it predictably without creating sensitivity. Sensitivity can be a real show stopper.”

Read more: Best Teeth Whitening Methods According to Dentists

Dental Marketing: Cosmetic Injectables, A Smart Economic Move for Dentists?

Dentists offering injectablesDepending on the dentist surveyed, the use of injectables in the dental office is either not a part of general dentistry, a smart economic move, or something dentists can do very well.

To dentists who support offering injectables as part of their dental marketing, they see it merely as a natural extension of the cosmetic treatments that they already provide. To dentists who dislike the idea, injectables are just an invitation to a malpractice lawsuit.

One thing is for sure: Injectables have become one of the most popular cosmetic medical procedures in the United States. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the number of non-surgical cosmetic treatments, such as injectables, has jumped 228% since 1997.

Who will fill the demand?

The Wealthy Dentist conducted a survey asking dentists if they have started administering injectable treatments such as BOTOX® and Dermal fillers for cosmetic reasons. 85% of the dentists surveyed responded, “No!” for a variety of reasons.

Here is what they had to say –

Not a part of dentistry…

“These procedures should not be done by a dentist.” (Indiana dentist)

“They’re cheesy and unprofessional!” (California prosthodontist)

“They’re not dental procedures. I don’t care if some dentists want to do them. I know one who does them and he says women can get their husbands to pay these bills from the dentist, but would be more scrutinizing about bills from a plastic surgeon.” (Illinois dentist)

“It’s not part of dentistry.” (California dentist)

A smart economic move …

“I think I will get myself trained to be able to expand my cosmetic dentistry packages.” (General dentist)

“Patients pay up front for a quick procedure with no insurance paperwork. What’s not to like?” (Florida dentist)

“A great way to see patients several times a year since these patients need regular touch-ups. It can be added to a treatment package with routine dental cleanings.” (Arizona dentist)

Something dentists can do very well…

“Of course! This is something we as dentists could do very well. However, in California the oral surgeons seem to have cornered the market, so to speak…keeping the generalists out.” (California dentist)

Dentists give more injections than any other healthcare professional, so why not?” (Nebraska dentist)

“Who’s more qualified than a dentist that is already injecting patients needing fillings, or more extensive work every single day?” (West Virginia dentist)

Just an invitation to a malpractice lawsuit …

“I don’t believe extra oral injectables are within the scope of my dental license. I believe it verges on malpractice.” (Nevada dentist)

“The liability is too high; I’d rather leave it to MD’s with higher coverage.” (Texas dentist)

“I’m not sure about the complications with state and the malpractice issues with injectables.” (California orthodontist)

What are your thoughts on dentists offering injectables?

To participate in future The Wealthy Dentist surveys, please sign up for our newsletter in the right sidebar.

Cosmetic Dentistry Is Dentists’ Favorite Treatment Option

Dental Implants & Sedation Dentistry Are Also Popular

Dental Survey ResultsIn our most recent survey, we asked dentists about their favorite treatment options. Cosmetic dentistry was the clear winner, pulling in over one-third of the total vote (and one-half of he general dentist vote). Dental implants were the runner-up.

There were distinct differences between general dentists and specialists. While nearly half of general dentists favored cosmetic dentistry, only 16% of specialists did. Among specialists, dental implants were the favorite treatment option.

There were also notable differences between urban and rural dentists. Rural dentists were significantly more likely to vote for cosmetic dentistry as their favorite option. While Invisalign was preferred by one-quarter of urban dentists, no rural dentists reported feeling the same way.

Here are some other treatment options dentists like:

  • “Lasers.” (Maryland dentist)
  • “Periodontal plastic surgery.” (Arizona periodontist)
  • “Amalgam.” (North Carolina dentist)
  • “Conventional orthodontics.” (Michigan dentist)
  • “Third molars.” (New York dentist)
  • “Crowns and bridges.” (Canada dentist)
  • “Reconstructive dentistry.” (Kentucky dentist)
  • “Endodontics.” (Canada dentist)
  • “TMD.” (Michigan dentist)
  • “Smile makeovers.” (Cosmetic dentist)

Post your comments or read the complete dental treatment options survey results…

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