There’s been a rise in demand for cosmetic dental treatments from teeth whitening to full smile makeovers according to Harrogate dentists who specialise in the field. Treatments such as veneers and composite bonding are at much higher levels than 18 months ago.
Now we are venturing out again and social calendars are filling up, people are looking to fix the things that have always bothered them, like crooked smiles or stained teeth.
Constant Zoom video calls during the pandemic also caused the ‘mirror effect’ meaning there’s no escaping hours looking at your dental imperfections.
Dr Shoreh Ghasmi, who runs The Harrogate Clinic, on Prospect Crescent, said:
“I think everybody now wants to do something nice for their smile. Before they didn’t care that much.
“Many people stayed at home during the pandemic and have been using Zoom and I think it makes them aware of their smile and the state of their teeth. I have many patients now who have said they think they look awful on Zoom and don’t want to smile.
“Also when people have stayed at home, their partners have seen them much more and have noticed their teeth, so that’s another reason they are wanting to improve them.
“One of the crucial things is people are removing their masks and they are seeing much more of their smiles. Where as before when everybody had masks, people got used to their teeth. Now half of their face isn’t under a mask all of a sudden.”
Dr Jatinder ‘Sonny’ Sagoo, clinical director of Clover House dental practice, on Skipton Road, said he had also noticed a significant increase in elective treatments in the wake of the pandemic, as well as treatments to secure and maintain dental health.
“The two have to go hand-in-hand for long term successful outcomes. Although patients do come in asking for specific treatments we find it best to have a detailed conversation of the outcome they desire and then working out the best way of achieving it. Sometimes simple interventions can make a remarkable difference. With modern dentistry we increasingly make use of digital technologies to help plan, visualise and deliver results.
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Dr Sagoo also said people have money to spend after a year of lockdown:
“In addition the inability to make other discretionary spending, such as holidays and eating out, probably means there is a higher level of disposable income available. Costs of treatments can now be easily spread over several months, making treatment more affordable from monthly cash flow.
“Dental treatments have also become really accessible and easier to tolerate, for example clear and invisible braces that straighten teeth without anyone knowing about the treatment.
“I definitely agree Zoom is a factor. In normal circumstances you can’t see your own smile, so it’s easier to ignore it if there’s something that’s not right.
“When you see your smile on the monitor – now often in high res – it can be a prompt. People generally want to present themselves in the best possible light and with Zoom the only bit of the person you normally see is their face and smile.”
There has also been a notable increase in the number of adults getting braces in a bid for straighter teeth, said Dr Sagoo.
“In the noughties there was a marked trend in instant smile makeovers using ceramic veneers and crowns. If teeth were not straight they could be disguised to look straight.
“Whilst this gave instant results, there were long term consequences such as damage to enamel and dentine and also eventually the ceramics needed replacing.
“With the advent of clear aligner and invisible brace systems, it became easier and more acceptable to move crowded teeth so they were straight.
“If you couple this with tooth whitening to lift the colour and cosmetic bonding to make subtle refinements, it became easier to get great results and keep the natural tooth perfectly intact.
“The “Align, Bleach, Bond” method is much more conservative in its approach and therefore better for long term dental health.”