More Americans Considering Cosmetic Procedures

Dentistry Today


Beauty work is moving into the mainstream, as 37% of adults in the United States are considering at least one cosmetic treatment including dental care in the next 12 months, reports RealSelf. Of those exploring care, 34% are considering nonsurgical procedures, while 24% are considering surgical procedures.

The RealSelf Aesthetics Interest Survey also revealed that 80% feel there is at least one part of their body they would like to change, most notably their abdomen or back (47%) and teeth (33%). Also, 24% report that they have had at least one cosmetic treatment in the past.

Interest in cosmetic treatments transcends gender and age, though interest is highest among younger adults, with 49% of those under 45 considering a surgical or nonsurgical treatment in the next 12 months compared to 28% of those 45 and older. Interest in such treatments also is equally distributed among women (37%) and men (38%).

“The rise of nonsurgical technologies and new treatment options have made aesthetics more accessible to a wider audience, and patients in their twenties and thirties are certainly helping fuel that trend,” said Dr. Lara Devgan, RealSelf’s chief medical officer and board-certified plastic surgeon.

“For millennials in particular, cosmetic treatments have become part of a larger self-care routine. Just as they are more aware of skin health and the importance of sunscreen, they too are open to exploring treatments that reverse signs of aging or optimize facial features,” Devgan said.

“In many ways, younger adults are shifting the way society views cosmetic procedures. They are more open to the idea that beauty is individualized and customizable and that cosmetic interventions represent their personal choices about their own bodies for their own confidence,” said Devgan.

The most cited treatments under consideration are designed to address the body areas Americans would most like to change, with cosmetic dentistry (36%) and nonsurgical fat reduction (29%) topping the list. Among the surgical options, tummy tucks (32%) and liposuction (26%) are of most interest. 

Improving self-esteem and confidence was the leading motivation behind seeking treatment, at 43%, followed by looking as good as one feels (34%) and helping with weight loss or fat removal (32%). 

Plus, 58% said a life event influenced their decision to pursue cosmetic work, more particularly among men (71%) than women (46%). Also, 26% (36% of men and 18% of women) said they wanted to appear youthful at work or are looking for or starting a new job. Milestone birthdays (15% overall, 36% men, 18% women) and dating or new relationships (14% overall, 21% men, 7% women) were factors as well. 

The study was conducted online within the United States by the Harris Poll on behalf of RealSelf from July 10 to July 12, 2018, among 2,052 adults age 18 and older. Among the respondents, 862 have had cosmetic treatments or are considering them in the next 12 months.

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