Survey Reveals Optimistic Outlook for Cosmetic Dentistry

Dentistry Today


A recent survey of dental professionals conducted by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) reveals that cosmetic procedures continue to boost production in dental practices.

The AACD has conducted the biennial State of the Cosmetic Dentistry Industry Survey for the past 13 years, and it uses the data to determine the size and impact in terms of procedures and revenues of the cosmetic dentistry market.

While times are tough now, the AACD says, the survey supports earlier data showing that cosmetic dentistry will continue to thrive and grow. The AACD is sharing the results in preparation for the recovery and demand after the pandemic, which it says is sure to come. 

Conducted between January 13 and January 27, the survey includes a snapshot of current dentist and practice demographics, as well as promising findings relating to the growth of cosmetic dentistry as a whole, the AACD says.

The average number of most types of cosmetic procedures increased from 2017, the AACD says. Patients are most frequently electing bonding treatments, crowns or bridgework, and implants—procedure types that respondents said have either stayed the same or generated more revenue from the previous year to the present. 

Most respondents expected these procedures to continue to generate the same amount of revenue or more in the coming years, the AACD adds.

Also, material preferences among cosmetic dentists are slowly evolving. The number of practice transitions has remained steady from previous years. And, there is a growing belief that the use of digital or CAD/CAM technology will increase in the coming years.

The biggest disruptor to the industry, according to the respondents, was more corporate dentistry, with 34% concerned about the growth of corporate-owned dental practices. 

AACD Accredited members’ practices average $1.6 million in revenue, compared to $1.2 million for General members and $800,000 for nonmembers, which are totals consistent with earlier iterations of the survey.

This may suggest that as more and more general dentists add cosmetic procedures to their repertoire, the AACD says, membership in the organization may be the differentiating factor for discerning cosmetic patients.

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