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Posted by: The Probe 10th March 2020
What we can say for certain is that cosmetic dentistry is booming with the global industry currently worth an estimated £14.5 billion.[i] A key driver in the continued demand for cosmetic dentistry is patients’ desire to improve the way they look – not content on settling for what they were born with. This urgency to look and feel good is only being further fuelled by selfies and celebrity endorsements, which have spread like a cultural wildfire across social media platforms like Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram. Many patients are now seeking an improved smile quickly and at the most affordable rate.
Unfortunately, this can give rise to patients underestimating the value of investing in high quality professional treatment. Some patients resort to cheap “quick fixes” that might not necessarily provide the results they desire and, in some instances, can cause irreparable harm to the health and appearance of their smile. As a result of this trend, cases of poor cosmetic dental treatment – particularly at the hands of an inexperienced clinician – are not uncommon. In fact, there is an argument that as more cosmetic dental treatment is provided, the more likely it is that mistakes will arise.
This emphasises the importance of continuing education to ensure you can provide treatment that is within your professional remit. In fact, the need to learn throughout one’s career is more pressing than it has ever been, particularly within cosmetic dentistry – where patients have high aesthetic demands and expectations about treatment. Cosmetic dentistry is not recognised as a GDC specialty and, therefore, requires no formal training, but practitioners who are interested in expanding on their cosmetic dental expertise can invest in training within other disciplines.
These disciplines might include restorative dentistry, prosthodontics, oral surgery and orthodontics. Practising in such areas can help you become a good cosmetic dentist, as you will have the platform to gain experience and develop the expertise to achieve exceptional aesthetic and functional outcomes. You can also learn how to do so in the most minimally invasive way, which is a favourable approach within current cosmetic dental practice. Clinicians ultimately have to continue adding to their armamentarium of professional knowledge and skills in order to improve as a cosmetic dentist.
This is especially important considering there are aspects of cosmetic dentistry that can be particularly challenging. Composite bonding, for instance, is a highly sought-after treatment option for restoring damaged teeth. There are well-established processes that enable clinicians to mimic the aesthetic and function of a natural tooth. However, composite bonding procedures require an in-depth understanding of sometimes complex techniques and use of materials – as well as no small amount of skill, knowledge and artistry – in order to achieve predictable, long-lasting results.
There are a myriad of training programmes and courses that can teach you how to deliver such treatments. However, attending dental conferences and educational events that cater to cosmetic dentistry are also a great way to learn the ins and outs of the field. In fact, these events often enable you to get the first glimpse of new products or find out more about the latest advances and trends within the area. This can be a great way to continue learning about specific topics that relate to cosmetic dental practice.
Having access to a dedicated network of support can also be invaluable with regard to career development within cosmetic dentistry. This is where joining a professional organisation can have fantastic rewards, as you will often have the resources you need to reach or even exceed your career goals. Moreover, joining such a group offers you the chance to network with industry leaders and likeminded individuals who share the same interests and passions. Networking can be an effective means by which to exchange information about best practice, as well new technologies, techniques and materials.
As a world-leading authority in the field, the BACD offers its members unlimited access to social and educational opportunities that enable them to expand on their knowledge and skills within various areas besides cosmetic dentistry. The Academy also offers a pathway to progression with its dedicated Accreditation Programme, which is designed to both challenge and inspire practitioners. This serves as a unique accolade that successful candidates are able to deliver consistently high quality cosmetic dental treatment, thereby enhancing their professional reputation among patients and peers.
Any dentist can provide cosmetic dental treatment, but it takes a clinician who is committed to improving their skills and knowledge to achieve excellent aesthetic outcomes. This is when the benefits of joining a professional organisation are evident, as these groups offer access to educational platforms that enable you to remain at the forefront of advances in the industry, so that you can stay ahead of the curve in a wide range of treatments.
For further enquiries about the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, visit www.bacd.com
Nishan Dixit qualified from Guy’s Dental Hospital in 1994. After qualifying, he worked as an associate in a couple of practices in North-West London for 5 years. In 2000, he established Blue Court Dental in Harrow, Middlesex.
Being in a general practice environment, he covers all aspects of dentistry. However, he has a particular interest in minimally invasive aesthetic dentistry. He is currently the President of the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and previously was the Scientific Director. Prior to this, he served on the Anglo-Asian Odontological Group (AOG) Committee for 10 years in various capacities. Following his passion has led him to be trained by leading clinicians both nationally and internationally.
[i] GlobeNewswire. (2019) Cosmetic Dentistry Market to Reach USD 32.73 Billion By 2026 – Reports And Data. Link: https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2019/07/29/1892970/0/en/Cosmetic-Dentistry-Market-To-Reach-USD-32-73-Billion-By-2026-Reports-And-Data.html. [Last accessed: 31.10.19].