Dentistry has been traditionally viewed as a medical field in Britain with any improvements or work completed on teeth done primarily for practical purpose rather than for aesthetics – until now.
Demand for a cosmetic dentist has soared over the last decade. From renewed interest in braces and teeth straightening to a pronounced desire to whiten teeth, the last ten years has seen many treatments go under the spotlight of the dentist’s chair.
Top Dental Treatments of the Past Decade
Unsurprisingly, cosmetic dental trends have seen procedures including teeth whitening and straightening top the list of most desirable treatments. An infographic produced by ToothPick last February (2014) claims the five most popular treatments are:
• Teeth whitening
• Dental veneers
• Teeth straightening
• Dental implants
• Professional cleaning
It’ll be All White
The perfect ‘Hollywood smile’ has been a desirable trait amongst some people for a number of years but the past decade has seen demand increase further.
An article from July 2013 claims dental enquiries regarding laser whitening increased 116% from the year previous with prices falling by 31% over the same period to offer better value for money.
Yet while this may have contributed to the trend’s take-up, there is evidence to suggest that the quest for whiter teeth is a more general trend. In the UK’s £5 billion dental market – which one expert predicts will grow to £15 billion within another ten years – whitening toothpaste took more than a fifth (21%) of value sales in 2003. That’s up from 10% in 1998.
Beneath the Veneer
Despite the interest in whiter teeth, simple chemical or laser whitening isn’t always enough. The perfect smile is now associated with straight and perfectly even teeth that follow a uniform size too and this means more extensive cosmetic work such as new crowns and veneers is more common.
Gaps in between teeth, broken teeth and heavily discoloured appearances can all be fixed with veneers although the treatment takes much longer to complete as a mould of the teeth is taken before the veneers can be made and eventually fitted.
This treatment is also more expensive than other less intensive procedures, like whitening, but that hasn’t stopped it being popular. In fact, a Daily Mail article named 2011 as the Year of the Veneer, highlighting a number of top celebs who had undergone dental treatment to improve their grin.
This included the likes of British chef Gordon Ramsay, footballer David Beckham and his A-list wife Victoria as well as singers Celine Dion, Cheryl Cole and Noel Gallagher. Even politician and former Prime Minister Gordon Brown was the subject of rumours concerning cosmetic dentistry.
Straight to the Point
As well as changing the colour and feel and teeth, Brits are also keen to straighten their smiles. While braces were once associated with school playgrounds and childish-looking ‘train-tracks’, they are now a premium dental product that many people ask to have fitted.
Dental enquiries regarding braces grew 89% between 2012 and 2013 with clear braces and Invisalign invisible braces exceptionally popular over this period; up 177% and 60% respectively.
This increase in demand pushed prices for the procedure up by 26% over the same time – a fact which failed to deter the British adults seeking a perfectly straight but natural-looking smile.
As well as improving the appearance of existing teeth, Brits are also keen to use cosmetic dentistry to replace cracked, broken or missing teeth. This is done through dental implants: another procedure which has grown in popularity over the past decade.
An aging population is claimed to be partly behind the increased interest in this procedure as tooth loss becomes more likely with age.
As a result of this, demand for dental implants is expected to experience CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 9.7% between 2014 and 2020.
A thorough Job
Finally, for those interested in less intrusive procedures, professional cleaning has also become a popular dental treatment for Brits.
This once again is likely to stem from a desire to achieve great looking whiter teeth that form the perfect smile but can also improve the texture and feel of the teeth’s surface by removing destructive plaque or debris build-up.
Professional cleaning can also improve the health of teeth to help protect against decay, cavities and future fillings which makes the procedure attractive from both an aesthetic and practical perspective.
The Future of Cosmetic Dentistry
While all of these procedures have proven popular over the past decade, it is unlikely that any of them will fall from grace over the next ten years.
As more people discover how they can improve their smile and dental health with cosmetic dental procedures, trends and treatments are only likely to increase in number. Watch this space!