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The dental industry took a massive hit due to the pandemic and subsequent clinic closures. Patients weren’t allowed to visit for anything but emergency or vital appointments and with all the restrictions in place, it was a difficult process to get into a clinic. The restrictions have been eased for many months now, business seems to be returning to normal, and the industry is getting back on its feet.

According to a cosmetic dentist at Martindale Dental, appointments for cosmetic dentistry related treatments have risen dramatically since pandemic restrictions were loosened earlier in the year. Demand for treatments like teeth whitening, veneers, implants and even full-smile makeovers has increased when compared to pre-pandemic levels.

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Since clinics across the country have reopened and vaccination rates have risen, it seems like people who were previously scared to visit the dentist have begun going again. Dental clinics aren’t alone, with hairdressers and beauty salons seeing their customers return in droves for appointments.

Cosmetic appointments at Ontario clinics have been on the rise for years, likely due to the social media boom and a growing trend towards beauty in society, but there has been a big influx of demand this year. Societal factors, coupled with the advancement of dental technology which makes treatments like teeth whitening much easier, have made upgrading a patients smile a simple and safe task. Something like teeth whitening is inexpensive too, and many patients are asking for it – so much so that teeth whitening appointments alone have increased some 40% on average across the country’s dental facilities.

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One could argue that with everyone wearing masks in public, why would how nice your teeth look matter? One of the reasons that’s been speculated is that the increase in video meetings, especially for work, has prompted people to focus on their smiles more because it’s a major aspect of what others see and how they’re being judged. Regardless of the reason, it’s not very surprising that people are caring more for their smiles.

Companies like ClearCorrect and SmileDirectClub, who manufacture teeth alignment devices have also seen the climb in popularity. The industry expects the boom to continue too.

Technologically, these types of procedures have become much easier and cheaper for patients, and that has a direct correlation on adoption. Then as the masks come off, which is hopefully sooner rather than later, there will be even more interest from the public.  Would you want to be the only person in your social circle who doesn’t have a bright white smile? Especially if all it took was a quick appointment with your dentist? The snowball could continue to grow as more and more people head to their dentist for cosmetic treatments.

What treatments are the most common?

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The cosmetic dentistry field encompasses almost every procedure that is aimed at making a visual change to a patients smile. This includes treatments like teeth whitening, dental veneers, crowns, bonding and dental implants. Depending on who you ask, they might tell you that orthodontic appliances like braces, retainers or clear aligners also fall under the cosmetic category, even though the main aim of these treatments is to align the patients’ teeth and bite. Out of these, teeth whitening and veneers are the most popular due to the relative ease of the procedure. Almost anyone can easily benefit from a whitening appointment, while veneers offer great cosmetic results, but can quickly become an expensive proposition. Veneers are often a large part of what’s known as a “complete smile makeover”, alongside whitening, and even dental implants if required. Want a Hollywood celebrity smile? A cosmetic dentist can provide that for you. Keep in mind that the cost of veneers and dental implants could be quite a lot, especially if multiple or a whole row of teeth are being upgraded. If you’re thinking about enhancing your smile, the best course of action is to book a consultation appointment with your dentist (it should be free) to discuss your needs. That way you’ll be able to find out what your options are and how much it’s likely going to cost. It’s even better to book a consultation on top of a regular cleaning appointment so you don’t have to visit the office twice. Your dentist will be happy to go over your smile with and make recommendations about how it could be better with the help of cosmetic dentistry.

Why are patients asking for cosmetic treatments?

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Cosmetic dentistry is mostly about solving visual problems like chipped or broken teeth, gaps, discolouration, and even crooked teeth (so long as they aren’t too crooked and require orthodontics). Even if you don’t have an immediate issue, like a chipped or broken tooth, we all see actors, actresses and athletes on TV/social media on a daily basis – and most of them will have perfect smiles. Then you take a look in the mirror and your smile seems a bit dull in comparison, so you start looking for ways to make it nicer. Luckily, you don’t need to spend a fortune to spruce up your smile because a whitening procedure is very cost effective and provides great results. That’s why it handily tops the list of most common cosmetic dental treatments in Canada.

The top reason patients state for wanting to enhance their smile is to look better and feel more confident. It’s even been said that a nicer smile makes a person seem more trustworthy and likeable so you’re almost at a disadvantage when it comes to things like career advancement and dating if your smile isn’t up to par. That’s likely not the case in most instances, but it’s true that confidence is inspiring and knowing that you look good can give you a big boost in that department. Your teeth are important, and dentists have found that patients will take better care of their oral hygiene after a cosmetic treatment.  It’s a pride of ownership thing, where patients want to keep their new smile looking fresh for as long as possible. Regardless, whatever the reason a patient chooses, cosmetic dentistry can make a big difference for their smile and in their lives, which is why its popularity is going up.