Cosmetic dentistry is a growing sector of the dental industry, but due to a number of factors it’s still trailing behind restorative dentistry. In order for the sector to continue to grow, procedures need to be more cost effective, patient education is key, and the technology needs to continue to develop.
Once these conditions are met, and even as they are beginning to move in that direction, we’ll see an increase in cosmetic procedures like teeth whitening, veneers, and more.
Cost Is Stunting Cosmetic Dentistry’s Growth
One of the significant limitations for cosmetic dentistry is cost. Because these are largely elective surgeries, many insurance companies will choose not to pay. This means that those seeking out cosmetic dental procedures like teeth whitening and veneers are typically chosen by those with disposable income.
Cosmetic dental procedures like veneers require dental imaging, which can be very cost-prohibitive. In addition to these scans and your own time, there are also the lab product costs. As cosmetic dentistry grows, it’s important to consider the value proposition of these procedures.
It’s important to have high quality cosmetic dentistry procedures, but until these procedures become more affordable, growth will be stunted.
Patient Education Is Critical for Cosmetic Dental Procedures
In one study, researchers found that there is a very low chance of patients asking about cosmetic dentistry. Whether this is because they aren’t aware of their options or they don’t want to ask, it shows that as as dental professionals, we can improve our patient education.
The same study shared that although 96% of patients who inquire about cosmetic dentistry are female, there is still a place for educating male patients. While men may not bring up cosmetic procedures, they may still be interested.
This gives us an excellent chance to educate them about why cosmetic dentistry can be a beneficial investment. As an untapped source of revenue, educating your male patients can not only be beneficial to their oral health, but it can also help your practice grow.
Improvements in Dental Technology Has Decreased Invasiveness
As more dental technology companies invest in new products, your patients benefit. Minimally invasive techniques and tools like dental lasers give you the chance to improve a patient’s cosmetic appearance while minimizing pain.
Again, though, these procedures are not well known to many patients, which means we need to emphasize patient education. As awareness increases, we have the chance to help more patients in minimally invasive ways.
Increasing awareness about such procedures in the common population has allowed more individuals to opt for minimally invasive techniques to correct dental deformities and increase aesthetic appeal. As you continue to see patients, open up a dialogue about how cosmetic dentistry can help them and improve their oral health and appearance.