Teeth Whitening


Teeth Whitening Demand Slides with Recession

Teeth bleaching at the dentist’s office has become less popular as the recession has worsened, report dentists in a recent Wealthy Dentist survey. Cosmetic dentistry seems less important now to price-conscious consumers.

May 3, 2009 (San Francisco, California) Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures, but two of three dentists report reduced demand for professional tooth whitening due to the recession economy, finds a survey by continuing dental education resource The Wealthy Dentist. Only 31% have not noticed a drop.

Some dentists rave about teeth bleaching. “Teeth whitening is the least costly way to improve the appearance of the entire mouth,” opined a general dentist. “The added benefit of whitening as part of the Perio protect treatment helps me sell the Perio protect case at a substantially higher profit with less chair time,” reported a Texas dentist.

Teeth whitening kiosks in malls have been criticized by some for possibly offering unlicensed dental care. “Once the illegal whitening kiosks in the malls and spas are closed, we will see another increase in whitening demand,” declared one general dentist.

Some dentists have developed new dental marketing strategies to counteract the decline in consumer interest in tooth whitening, cosmetic dentistry, and virtually anything else that costs money. “We dropped the price by $50 during February for National Children’s Dental Health Month and Valentine’s Day,” said one dentist. “The response was so good, we continued through March! In addition, we are receiving now referrals from these patients for more bleaching and new patients.”

Though consumers still want whiter teeth, they now have options beyond professional bleaching at the dentist’s office. “I think it’s also the availability of many OTC choices,” said a Texas dentist, referring to the proliferation of whitening toothpastes, whitening strips, and other bleaching methods available over the counter at grocery stores and pharmacies.

A few dentists say interest is still growing. “I have actually seen an increase in the number of bleaching cases that I have delivered in the past months,” said a California dentist. “A majority of the patients were males. We used to have more females bleaching their teeth, but recently males have outnumbered the females.”

“Sure, demand for cosmetic dentistry tends to slow with the economy,” said Jim Du Molin, founder of dental website The Wealthy Dentist. “But the public’s desire to have the perfect Hollywood smile hasn’t changed. I don’t think US dentists have maxed out the teeth whitening market yet!”

Du Molin invites readers to visit his blog at http://www.thewealthydentist.com/blog/775/teeth-whitening-demand-tanks/ and comment on this survey.


Visit http://www.thewealthydentist.com to learn more about other Wealthy Dentist surveys on topics such as sedation dentistry, dental implants, cosmetic dentistry,
braces, wisdom teeth, and dentures. Sign up for Jim Du Molin’s weekly newsletter and get his insight into dental practice management.


Jim Du Molin

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