A smile is worth a thousand words, as the saying goes. So having a smile that you feel confident showing can have a huge impact. The rise of social media, has been influential in driving demand for cosmetic dental treatments. Celebrities and influencers are constantly showcasing ‘the perfect smile’, and this has contributed to a shift in people’s self-image, resulting in a surge in patients seeking aesthetic dentistry.
The global cosmetic dentistry market is expected to rise to £25.16 billion by 2026. We spoke with cosmetic dentist Dr Krystyna Wilczynski, who provided her insights into cosmetic dentistry trends in 2022.
Clear braces – “Currently, I am finding the most sought-after treatment is an overall cosmetic smile makeover, which typically involves minimally invasive dentistry, including clear braces like Invisalign.” says Dr Krystyna. And she is not wrong. Market projections made by Fortune Business Insider indicate that the global market size of clear aligners will increase from £86 million in 2020 to £280 million in just seven years – a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.4 per cent.
A more natural look – Despite a big increase in veneers and whiter-than-white teeth over the last couple of years, Dr Krystyna believes that patients want their teeth to look more youthful rather than fake. She uses composite bonding to achieve a more natural look, which is the cosmetic dentistry technique where composite resin is shaped and moulded onto the teeth.
“I handcraft my patients’ composites to ensure that they look bespoke and use natural colour, so they are not too white, square or boxy. Patients are really in tune with wanting natural, healthy-looking teeth that have been enhanced, rather than completely transformed.”
- Dr Krystyna
This view is echoed by Dr Manrina Rhode who, speaking on Hamilton Fraser’s monthly podcast, Aesthetics Unlocked, explains that her aim is to achieve a natural look where patients look their ‘best selves’ and it is not obvious that they’ve had treatment done. Dr Manrina, who has carried out more than 14,000 veneers, adapts them to the personality she is looking to portray, and finds the most popular shade to be a ‘BL3’ – BL measures teeth whiteness and bleaching. Trends are changing and increasingly, patients are moving away from a whiter than white look to a more natural look.
Teeth whitening – Teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic dentistry treatment today. There are numerous ways patients can whiten their teeth, including home teeth whitening kits, laser teeth whitening and gel bleaching using custom-made trays. However, at-home kits can be risky and may lead to issues such as mouth infections, gum recession and tooth nerve damage, so it is always recommended for patients to visit a professional.
More and more dentists are delving into the world of aesthetic medicine, providing a lucrative, and profit-maximising opportunity for practitioners and businesses, where skills and services can be hugely broadened. According to Dr Krystyna, cosmetic dentistry and aesthetic medicine go hand-in-hand.
"Dentists have a vast amount of knowledge on facial anatomy, which is imperative in aesthetic medicine. They know where all the danger sites are, as well as the ageing process of the face. Dentists are very dexterous with needles as, when they are injecting the mouth, there is very limited space, making it a challenging yet skilful task. They must be incredibly delicate to avoid bruising and other damage, and those skills can be transferred to facial aesthetics.”
- Dr Krystyna
Dr Krystyna believes that it is not enough now to just straighten and whiten patients’ teeth.
"We must look at the bigger picture. Cosmetic dentistry does not begin or end inside the lips – teeth need to fit into the entire framework of the face. While patients may expect a perfect midline (where teeth are symmetrical), golden proportions and white teeth; if nose-to-mouth line folds, marionette lines (smoker’s lines) and downward-facing oral commissures (corners of the mouth), frame the patient’s nice white teeth, then there is something missing from the final aesthetic result."
- Dr Krystyna
So, where should dentists start if they want to incorporate aesthetic medicine into their offering? The two key treatments Dr Krystyna recommends beginning with include:
Botulinum toxin – “A good starting point is to do a course on something like botulinum toxin, which can be included as part of a patient’s smile makeover. For example, if someone has a high gummy smile, botulinum toxin can be used on the upper lip to reduce the gummy smile and improve the overall aesthetic appearance. It can also be used for teeth grinding to relax the muscles.”
Filler – “Dermal filler is useful to incorporate into a cosmetic dental treatment as you can enhance patients’ side profiles, which may not have been achievable with orthodontics. For example, filler could be used to improve the appearance of a retruded chin – when patients have a more retruded chin, it can give them a less defined neck and reduce lower face height, resulting in a sunken appearance. This can be tackled by injecting dermal filler into the chin to rebuild proportions and structure.”
If you are a UK dentist, then you are already qualified to train in a large range of non-invasive cosmetic procedures. It is important to find a training academy that specialises in cosmetic training for medical professionals or aesthetic dentistry training, and offers a range of accredited qualifications and courses.
It is key to make sure your chosen course is CPD accredited, and adheres to Health Education England guidelines. Certificates from courses that are not in-line with these recommendations are unlikely to be robust against future regulations.
We live in a consumer-driven world, and with that comes an increase in litigation, so having suitable insurance cover is vital. All dentists require professional insurance cover to meet the General Dental Council’s requirements, but if you decide to expand your services into aesthetic medicine, it is a good idea to choose an insurance company that specialises in this area.
Hamilton Fraser is well known for providing bespoke cover designed specifically for the individual needs of cosmetic practitioners, but many dentists don’t realise that we now also provide cover for their general dentistry work as well.
"We already insure a large number of dentists for their cosmetic dentistry and facial aesthetics work. But increasingly we have been getting enquiries from customers who are looking to fold in their general dentistry cover too. They often have insurance with different providers and would like to bring it all under one roof. We’ve been looking at introducing this for a while and are pleased to say that we can now provide medical malpractice cover for general dentistry work. Dentists can combine their aesthetics and general dentistry policy or create two policies under one roof with different renewal dates."
- Mark Copsey, Head of Healthcare at Hamilton Fraser
In our experience of dealing with complaint management, it’s rarely down to one specific thing – there are usually multiple issues going on, which could be to do with the consultation, the treatment or the long term outcome. Bringing cover together under one roof avoids time consuming and costly debates about what part of the treatment went wrong, or where the dissatisfaction came from.”
If you’d like more information about how we can combine your aesthetic and general dentistry under one policy, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact our expert team for a quote on 0800 6343 881.