By Dr. Mehmood Asghar
Dentistry has come a long way over the last few decades. Today, it is not only about restoring damaged teeth, treating dental infections, or eliminating toothache. It's also about enhancing your patients' smiles and facial aesthetics and boosting their self-confidence. From ceramic-based hybrid nanocomposites to precisely matching zirconia crowns, cosmetic dental procedures aim to give your patients their dream smiles.
While the treatment options are endless, managing a dental practice today differs from what it used to be. With rising property and rental costs, staff wages, and, more importantly, the competition between dental clinics, enjoying a profitable dental business has become a far-reaching dream for many dentists.
Accepting the Change
Patients want to feel confident with their appearance, starting with a great smile. As dentists, we're in the best position to help them fulfill this desire. Furthermore, one can increase their practice revenue and patient flow by offering the cosmetic services patients are now demanding.
According to statistics by Fortune Business Insights, the global market size of cosmetic dentistry was valued at USD 23.02 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 43.06 billion by 2026. In 2017 alone, the revenue earned by dentists through cosmetic dentistry was a whooping amount of $1,195,000. Furthermore, according to the 2022 Cosmetic Dentistry State of the Industry Survey by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the average amount spent by cosmetic dentistry patients in 2021 was $3,482. These numbers show where the market is heading and what dental patients want.
Adopting Cosmetic Dentistry into Your Practice
Now, the million-dollar question: "Where to start, and what cosmetic services to incorporate into your practice?" Here are five cosmetic services that can add value, boost revenues, and give your practice a competitive advantage.
According to the 2022 Cosmetic Dentistry State of the Industry Survey, dental veneers are the most sought-after cosmetic service.
Veneers are great for those seeking a pearly white smile with perfectly aligned teeth, synonymous with Hollywood actors and entertainers. With patients becoming increasingly conscious of their facial aesthetics and dental cosmetic popularity on social media, offering porcelain veneers to your patients as an option is beneficial for all.
2. Dental Implants
With the increasing prevalence of tooth loss around the globe, more patients are demanding long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing prosthetic alternatives. With dental implants hailed as "the next best thing" to one's own teeth, adding dental implants to your services could significantly boost your revenue and patient flow.
3. Botox and Dermal Fillers
With the current social media revolution and the increased use of apps such as Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok, the demand for looking your absolute best is at an all-time high.
This intense focus on appearance has increased reliance on non-invasive, anti-aging cosmetic services such as dermal filler and Botox therapy. These minimally invasive services are safe and can be performed at the dental chairside. Offering these services to your patients can also be an instant boost in your practice income.
According to Yahoo Finance, the dermal filler market in the U.S. was valued at 1.2 billion dollars in 2021 and is expected to reach a whopping 3.3. billion dollars in 2031.
4. Digital Technology
The 2022 Cosmetic Dentistry State of the Industry Survey revealed an interesting fact; those practitioners who used the latest digital equipment such as CAD/CAM, 3D printers, and intra-oral scanners earned more than those who haven't adopted them.
These digital devices will help improve the quality and durability of your restorations and prostheses and save you and your patient time.
Imagine using an intra-oral scanner that allows you to educate your patients and help them precisely understand their dental problems and, at the same time, allows you to make digital impressions that are considerably more accurate and comfortable than physical ones.
5. Digital Smile Design
With the advent of digital dental equipment, getting a "Hollywood smile" is possible for more than simply celebrities and the wealthy. Today, anyone can benefit from digital smile design and enjoy their dream smile in a matter of days, if not hours.
Digital smile design puts your patients in control, allowing them to visualize precisely how their teeth and smile will look once their cosmetic treatment with veneers or porcelain crowns is complete – even before their treatment begins.
The Final Word
Staying current with dental trends and cosmetic procedures is no longer seen as the "super-specialty" it used to be. Dentists are embracing cosmetic dentistry and expanding their horizons to meet patients' modern demands and stay competitive while improving an (ever-shrinking) bottom line.
That's why there's no time like the present for dentists to embrace the cosmetic dental evolution and add value to their practices by offering the latest cosmetic dental procedures patients are increasingly seeking. And in today's highly competitive, digital dentistry age, incorporating cosmetic procedures into your practices is almost inevitable.
If you're not yet subscribed to receive the Incisor newsletter, filled with cutting-edge dental news sent directly to your inbox twice a month, you can do so here.
Author: Dr. Mehmood Asghar is a dentist and Assistant Professor of Dental Biomaterials at the National University of Medical Sciences, Pakistan. Dr. Asghar received his undergraduate and postgraduate dental qualifications from the National University of Science and Technology (NUST). He is also currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Restorative Dentistry from Malaysia. Besides his hectic clinical and research activities, Dr. Asghar likes to write evidence-based, informative articles for dental professionals and patients. Dr. Asghar has published several articles in international, peer-reviewed journals.