In dentistry, a lot of attention is paid to helping patients keep their teeth healthy and clean. Diseases such as tooth decay are often talked about, and most of today’s research is focused on preventing and treating health problems. However, there is also a cosmetic aspect to dentistry.
This is especially relevant in the wake of a survey that shows a significant portion of the UK is not happy with how their teeth look. Research by the British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF) and Invisalign found that more than a quarter of UK adults don’t like their smiles.
Some 27 per cent of the survey’s participants said they were unhappy with their smile. This might not seem like a major issue, but it has a serious impact on the self-confidence and mental wellbeing of patients.
Around ten per cent of people said the state of their smile has affected their relationships, and 44 per cent said the poor state of their teeth has a negative impact on their confidence. Around 75 per cent of people, even those that were happy with their teeth, said their confidence would improve if they had a better smile.
Dr Nigel Carter, the chief executive of the BDHF, said: “Improving our smile is something that can be done at any age and with the emotional and proven health benefits of having a healthy smile clear, it’s never too late to do something about yours. It can be the first thing you notice about a person, and it certainly creates a good first impression.”
So what can be done to improve your patients’ self-confidence in this area? Asking them directly if they want cosmetic treatment will almost certainly make them feel worse, as you are essentially saying you have noticed the poor state of their teeth and think something needs doing about it.
Instead, you can invest in a few dental posters or canvases around your practice that encourage patients to ask you how you can help their smile. Designs such as the Cosmetic Collection entreat people to love their smile, and will spur your patients on to talking to you about this difficult subject.