Like all industries, cosmetic dentistry is subject to changes in the socioeconomic climate. For example, cosmetic dental procedures (and the amount of money patients were willing to spend on them) peaked in the early 2000s, and then proceeded to drop and eventually flatten as the U.S. entered an economic recession. As we enter an economic recovery phase, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry’s State of the Industry report points out that several areas of the cosmetic dentistry practice have experienced an upswing since 2011, and are expected to continue to rise in popularity over the next year. Dr. Brenda Kay Jennings, an accredited member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) and a longtime Frisco, TX cosmetic dentist, shares just a few exciting trends to look for in 2014.
Conservative is the Word
Over the last century, cosmetic dental procedures have become increasingly conservative, meaning they conserve more of a patient’s natural tooth structure. The “Hollywood” smile serves as a prime example of this trend. Well into the 1970s, actors and actresses who wanted a bright, attractive smile often had their teeth capped with full dental crowns. This procedure involved the removal of significant portions of healthy enamel to accommodate the hand-made crowns. In the 1980s and 90s, and even into the first decade of the new millennium, porcelain veneers became the go-to procedure for achieving a uniform, beautiful smile. While more conservative than full crowns, veneers still involve the removal of small layers of tooth enamel. As more patients seek out cosmetic treatment options that do not permanently alter their tooth structure, phased treatment plans that include adult orthodontics (think clear aligner systems like Invisalign) and professional teeth whitening are expected to gain popularity.
Guys Want Nice Smiles, Too!
The Academy of General Dentistry reports that more male patients are visiting the dentist than ever before and they’re interested in more than just a cleaning and checkup! In fact, statistics from the AACD show that the number of men seeking cosmetic procedures jumped 7 points between 2007 and 2011. Experts cite a number of factors contributing to this trend, including increased pressure in the workplace to look polished and professional and increasingly relaxed attitudes toward male grooming.
Flexible Financing and Phased Treatments
Industry experts, practicing dentists, and patients all recognize that cost presents the biggest impediment to moving forward with cosmetic dental treatment. While most patients want to improve the appearance of their smiles, many struggle with reconciling the cost of elective procedures with their yearly budget. Industry experts predict that more and more cosmetic dentists will expand their financing options to better accommodate their patients’ pocketbooks. Two options expected to continue growing this year include:
- Third party financing with companies like CareCredit. Much like a credit card, third party financing offers a convenient and affordable way for patients to spread out payments, often with low or no interest.
- Phased treatment plans. These customized treatment plans allow patients to undergo a recommended treatment plan in stages. The desired smile makeover is achieved over the long term, so both the patient and his or her finances don’t feel the strain all at once.
About Smiles Enhanced:
At Smiles Enhanced, Dr. Brenda Kay Jennings and her team look forward to helping you enjoy conservative, affordable cosmetic and restorative dental care in an environment that promotes comfort and confidence. To schedule your appointment or consultation, contact us today at (972) 377-4477. We proudly serve patients from Frisco, Plano, Carrollton, Allen, Denton, and the surrounding north Texas communities.