Cosmetic and aesthetic dentistry remain a key component of oral restorative procedures. The growing media influence and demands for cosmetic procedures have increased the demand for cosmetic dental work. Also an increase in patient awareness about the kinds of aesthetic treatments now available in dentistry, it becomes a sure shot cause of success for any dental practice in this competitive market scenario.
Research by American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry has revealed the following reasons for seeking cosmetic dentistry solutions among patients.
- Special events such as wedding (49%)
- To look good and feel younger (50%)
- To fix a previous failed ceramic treatment (51%)
- Restoration of broken tooth due to accident or injury (54%)
- To improve physical attractiveness and self esteem (89%)
It may be worthwhile to study the comparisons and results of survey found by the society about the growing dynamics of cosmetic dentistry. Women constitute the larger percentage of customers at 60% however the male market seeking cosmetic solutions is also increasing. There is no age predilection towards seeking cosmetic treatment, and the survey found an almost uniform distribution among all age groups. Self esteem remains the most important reason for seeking treatment.
The treatments sought according to demand percentages include
- Crown and bridges (97%)
- Bleaching and whitening treatments (93%)
- Direct bonding anterior (90%)
- Veneers (89%)
- Removable prosthetics (88%)
- Implants (87%)
- Direct bonding posterior (84%)
- Inlays and onlays (72%)
- Orthodontics (58%)
- Other cosmetic procedures (49%)
The survey also found that among all the kinds of procedures, cosmetic dentistry procedures constitute the biggest share of treatments sought by the patient. These can be either requested individually or in combination with any other non-cosmetic treatment for which the patient originally presented with.
It is also interesting to find the concerns of patients when seeking cosmetic treatments. The appearance remains the key concern among patients, followed by cost, longevity of treatment results, pain issues, time and duration of treatment and preservation of tooth structure.
The decision to select the dentist to carry out treatment still relies predominantly on word of mouth (63%). It is only recently that the internet has become the second most common means of locating and selecting a dental surgeon. Other means and sources constitute an 11% of visit decision from patients.
On the internet front, Facebook remains the main medium of information seeking and choice among patients regarding selection of dental clinic.
The survey found that most dentists remain optimistic that this trend will continue if not increase. The more the technological advancement, the more the dentist will be able to provide longlasting cosmetic solutions.
How it translates into revenue?
With a growing medical tourism industry, dental treatments have become one of the key components of the treatment plans sought by individuals. Many customers become aware of the latest dental technologies and then seek cheaper quality solutions in developing medical tourism countries. The same can be applied in Pakistan. Although an already present phenomenon, the lack of international qualifications keep all but few Pakistani dental surgeons competing in the international dental tourism arena. Availing international cosmetic dentistry programs may help the Pakistani dental surgeons gain credibility in the international market and thereby bring revenue to the country.
Cosmetic dentistry solutions will continue to remain in demand, which can be capitalized to bring in useful revenue within Pakistani healthcare sector.