Aesthetic Dentistry Tops the List of Desired Cosmetic Treatments

Dentistry Today


As people make resolutions for the new year, 40% of adults in the United Kingdom are considering surgical or nonsurgical cosmetic treatment in the next 12 months, with aesthetic dentistry (43%) and laser hair removal (29%) topping the list of nonsurgical procedures. In fact, interest in aesthetic dentistry such as aligners, whitening, and veneers is higher in the UK than it is in the United States, where only 36% of those surveyed by RealSelf reported an interest.

Motivations for these procedures in the US and UK were very similar, with 43% in both countries seeking to improve their self-esteem or confidence. Other common reasons included:

  • Looking as good as I feel: 35% in the UK, 34% in the US
  • Combatting aging: 22% in the UK, 20% in the US
  • Looking younger: 22% in the UK, 23% in the US 

Significant milestones are another driver behind these procedures, with 60% in the UK reporting that a life event such as a new job (23%), a birthday (18%), an upcoming vacation (14%), or a new relationship (13%) influenced their decision to pursue treatment. These motivations are much more common among men (70%) than women (51%). Men also are three times more likely (14%) than women (5%) to attribute the decision to a failed relationship. 

Among UK adults considering cosmetic treatment, however, the most common concerns are fear of complications or bad results (53%), followed by paying for the procedure (48%). In the US, the cop concerns were flipped, with paying for the procedure at 52% and a fear of bad results at 48%. Concerns about the long-term effects, finding the right provider, not looking like work was done, and recovery and downtime were prominent as well. 

In the UK, teeth topped the list of the body parts that people wanted to change at 35%, followed by their midsection (34%). Respondents in the US were more concerned with their tummies than their smile, however, with 47% wanting to change their midsection, compared to 33% wanting to change their teeth. The legs and thighs, hair, skin, and chest and breasts followed on the list of target areas.

Finally, RealSelf notes that Invisalign was the most researched dental treatment in 2018. And from 2017 to 2018, the dental treatments with the highest interest growth included wisdom tooth removal (+23%), tooth repair (+22%), and all-on-4 dental implants (+17%).

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