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In our most recent survey, we asked dentists if media hype and makeover shows have led to more patients seeking cosmetic dental procedures. Just over half (54%) of our respondents said yes, the media has influenced their patients. The remaining 46%, on the other hand, didn't feel that media exposure changed their patients' desires for aesthetic dentistry. Said one dentist of his patients: “They are very interested – until they find out how much it costs!” Another commented, “I don’t necessarily use the products that are featured on the shows, but it opens the discussion to what I do offer.”
Read the dentists’ comments for more insight into their thoughts on cosmetic dentistry.
General dentists were more likely than specialists to credit the media with an increase in interest in cosmetic dentistry among their patients.
Suburban dentists were the least likely to feel the media influenced their patients' desires for aesthetic dentistry.
Female dentists credited the media's influence more than their male colleagues.
"Great. I wish these shows were on all year round." (Pennsylvania dentist)
"I don't necessarily use the products that are featured on the shows or national commercials, but it opens the discussion to what I do offer." (Indiana dentist)
"Brief interest that quickly faded away." (Florida dentist)
"It has made more people more aware of the cosmetic options, but we have found that most of our 'cosmetic' cases are actually situations that involve malocclusion, excessive wear, old stained fillings. The patient's decision to have treatment done is based mostly on a desire to improve their teeth so far as function and longevity; the wonderful byproduct is that
they also get a beautiful smile." (Virginia dentist)
"They are very interested – until they find out how much it costs!" (Maine dental professional)
"As usual, the media is deceptive and misleading." (New Jersey dentist)
"People tend to link procedures to certain doctors on the show, but ignore their own doctors. My wife's friend skipped her dentist and went to Dr. D. in the extreme makeover show to have a post and crown done!!" (California dentist)
"These days, any dentist who does an all porcelain crown is calling himself a 'cosmetic' dentist, with or with out any formal continuing education programs." (Florida dentist)
"Except for the shows that put forth a negative image, the exposure has been helpful." (Minnesota dentist)
"I can't wait to see something on the Simpsons about cosmetic dentistry. That's where it belongs."
"I practice in one of the most affluent counties in the U.S. and have not been deluged with cosmetic requests. My Zoom instrument is
gathering dust, despite the fact that we market it in our newsletter, office literature and office conversation with patients."
"I'm more concerned about commercial advertisements from products like Lumineers and Invisalign." (Arkansas dentist)
"It has been a boon to dentistry." (New York dentist)