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Celebrities: helping to shape cosmetic dentistry

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  Posted by: The Probe      1st April 2020

Dentistry is not what it used to be. Many years ago, patients usually only visited the dentist to receive treatment for a problem, and not before. There were no dental trends or fads influencing the treatments that people had (unless you count young women choosing to have their teeth extracted and replaced with dentures as a form of dowry before marriage or as a 21st birthday present). Moreover, there was certainly less pressure to have a perfect smile. Fast forward to present day and we live in a society where it’s the norm to spend thousands at the dentist, and have treatments that not only ensure the health of one’s teeth but make them more attractive. That’s because today, dentistry is as much about oral beauty as it is oral care.

The influence of celebrities  

Indeed, it’s no longer enough to have a healthy mouth. You have to look good too and it’s largely down to the influence of celebrities and famous beauty bloggers via the platforms of television and social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube and Instagram. Using these tools, it is possible for high-profile stars to share images, videos and details about their personal lives, which the masses are able to view and share with ease. This has made way for a culture where people feel they need to look as attractive as the celebrities they look up to. The result is that more and more people are anxious about their appearance – especially their teeth, with one in three (31%) thought to feel inadequate about their smile directly as a result of television and social media.[i]

However, the influence of celebrities extends beyond the ideals of beauty that they create. It also comes from their ability to use their online presence to promote and raise awareness about certain treatments. A good example of this is minimally invasive short-term orthodontic appliances. Thanks to social media posts on their own accounts, we know that a number of stars – including Khloe Kardashian, Zac Efron and Justin Bieber – have undergone treatment in recent years. It’s no coincidence that demand has risen since.  

The silver lining

While regrettable that individuals are being made to feel they need to change in some way, the influence of celebrities on dental trends has been a positive driving force for encouraging people to improve their oral health. In particular, there has been an increase in the number of patients seeking cosmetic treatments such as orthodontics and professional whitening to improve the appearance of their teeth, with the global market for cosmetic dentistry predicted to reach an estimated value of £21 billion by 2023.[ii]

Quick fixes

Unfortunately, celebrity influence has also resulted in some patients seeking quick fixes or taking unsafe routes in order to achieve their dream smile. For example, during a 2020 Love Island episode – when contestant Connor Durman confessed his teeth were, in fact, veneers that he had done in Thailand – google searches for ‘Thailand teeth’ and ‘veneers Thailand’ apparently rose by 100%.[iii] That tells us that celebrities not only have the power to influence people’s attitudes toward dentistry, but that even amidst all the information and advice available now, there are still some that are willing to take a risk if there’s a chance of saving time and/or money.

Imperfectly perfect

Luckily, that number remains the minority. Generally, patients are prepared to pay the going rate for safe, effective treatment. What’s more, contrary to what programmes like Love Island and Geordie Shore portray, many prefer a more natural-looking smile that doesn’t obviously appear as though any cosmetic dental work has been done – a trend driven by celebrities like Ariana Grande and Keira Knightley who are known for their ‘wonky’ teeth. 

Naturally, achieving an imperfectly perfect finish takes a great deal of expertise and as such, cosmetic treatments that achieve a more natural-looking smile have risen in popularity. So too has the demand for skilled dentists that are able to deliver this outcome. This has led to the inclusion of cosmetic dentistry and aesthetic practises within a number of postgraduate courses, and is highly recognised by practitioners as a key skill.

At the forefront of cosmetic dental education is the BACD. Providing a pathway for dentists with an interest in delivering high-quality aesthetic outcomes, the BACD offers its members the opportunity to expand their knowledge on the subject through the study of various different dental disciplines. The Academy also offers an Accreditation Programme to encourage practitioners to excel in clinical practice and allow them to signify to patients that they are among the most highly skilled cosmetic dentists in the country. Accreditation is a highly regarded and well recognised accolade by patients and peers alike. To achieve Accreditation is a sure-fire way of demonstrating one’s passion and abilities for delivering consistently beautiful cosmetic dental treatments.  

Ensure the best results

With celebrities at the helm, it is likely that cosmetic dentistry and the demand for aesthetic outcomes will continue to rise moving forward. To ensure high-quality, natural-looking results, professionals should endeavour to engage in relevant, specially designed education pathways, making sure to optimise the resources available.

 

For further enquiries about the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, visit www.bacd.com

 

[i] Oral Health Foundation. Charity urges us to ‘be proud of our smile’ as new research reveals most of us have anxieties about our teeth. Published 13 May 2019. Accessed online 29 January 2020 at https://www.dentalhealth.org/news/charity-urges-us-to-be-proud-of-our-smile-as-new-research-reveals-most-of-us-have-anxieties-about-our-teeth

[ii]  Market watch press release. Cosmetic Dentistry Market Industry 2019 Global Growth, Size, Demand, Trends, Insights and Forecast 2024. Published 16 September 2019. Accessed online 29 January 2020 at https://www.marketwatch.com/press-release/cosmetic-dentistry-market-industry-2019-global-growth-size-demand-trends-insights-and-forecast-2024-2019-09-16

[iii] Metro.co.uk. Veneers are all the rage right now but do you really have to shave down your teeth? Published 20 January 2020. Accessed online 29 January 2020 at https://metro.co.uk/2020/01/20/veneers-are-all-the-rage-right-now-but-do-you-really-have-to-shave-down-your-teeth-12069517/


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