Dentists Sort of Like Celebrity Cosmetic Dentists

Post your comments about cosmetic dentists to our blog. Read the celebrity cosmetic dentist survey results.

Celebrity Cosmetic DentistryIn our most recent survey, we asked dentists if they think celebrity cosmetic dentists are good for the profession. Two out of three dentists say TV dentists are good for dentistry, and media exposure only makes the public more aware of what cosmetic dentistry can offer. The remaining 38% feel that these docs are pushing appearance over health, and it's not making dentists look good.

Read the dentists’ comments for more insight into their thoughts on cosmetic dentistry.

General dentists versus specialists



Specialists were significantly more likely than general dentists to disapprove of celebrity cosmetic dentists.


Urban, suburban and rural dentists


Geographical location was not highly correlated with results. However, rural dentists were less persuaded by celeb dentist gurus than their urban and
suburban counterparts.


For more insight into what our respondents are thinking, check out their comments!

What happened to health care and professionalism?

  • “There are more important things than the best possible smile using too white and ultra perfect teeth. Restoring them and keeping them is more important." (California dentist)
  • “Often the basics of diagnosis are disregarded in return for fast financial gain. Not far from my office is a 'guru cosmetic dentist.' More esthetic work done on severe perio issues with only quad scaling, even though I've seen several cases personally with angular bone loss that the periodontist has termed 'hopeless.' This frustrates me…and I'm sure others." (Wisconsin dentist)
  • “Over-contouring, and not using proper ortho will cause future perio. We need to do what's best for the patient and not a quick fix." (Pediatric dentist)
  • “I agree with Gordon Christiansen. Too much overtreatment is getting done these days. (General dentist)

"Cosmetic dentists" can give the profession a bad name

  • “Learn and practice real dentistry or become car salesmen," (New York prosthodontist)
  • “So much of what they're pushing is like putting vinyl siding on a house with a rotten foundation (or at best, a fancy facade). It degrades our profession to push superficial, quick fixes that overlook underlying structural and functional issues. I happen to know one prosthodontist who is quietly making a killing handling the re-treats of the heavily advertising spa/cosmetic dentists in town." (Tennessee orthodontist)
  • “'Cosmetic' dentists sound and act like cosmetologists, not like Doctors. Spa-offices are appropriate for the beauty-salons, not for the health-care practices. It is pure business, not the compassionate professional care – private doctoral care." (Illinois dentist)
  • “I believe they reflect poorly on the profession. They are primarily about self promotion and frequently the treatment they provide is about instant gratification and not in the long term interest of the patient. Oftentimes their notoriety is about marketing prowess and not about their training, clinical judgment and skill." (Florida prosthodontist)

Cosmetic dentistry truly makes the world a better place

  • “Appearance, self-confidence and health are inextricably bound. No one is forced to get a veneer and there is so much we can do for people by improving their smiles." (Oklahoma dentist)
  • “Patients want to be healthy, feel good, and look great. We, as Doctors, need to direct them in that sequence; but having addressed the first two, why not actively promote the third leg of the triad?" (Massachusetts dentist)

Money, money, money

  • “Because of the money, many dentists are performing cosmetic dentistry and put dental health on the back burner. It may put dentists in a good position in the public eye, since the public wants to look good, but it damages the professionalism of the profession." (Maryland dentist)
  • “Bill Dorfman has most likely the GNP of dentistry: $25 million in 2007. That is huge." (Missouri dentist)
  • It's all about the money and prestige…how can I make myself look good and important and use this patient to do it. What ever happened to the best interest of the patient?" (Georgia dentist)

Celeb docs raising awareness

  • “It is great that some dentists are creating a public awareness about teeth. To many people, dentistry is a horrifying experience of pain and discomfort. It is great that these dentists are showing the positive aspects of dentistry." (California dentist)
  • “We are reaping the benefits of the marketing advantages these celebs have provided. It has raised the public’s awareness of their dental needs, bringing them to our offices. After they come, then you can increase the patient’s awareness of the health benefits of good dentistry." (Michigan dentist)
  • “The Doctor Dorfman types and Extreme Makeover shows give a significant amount of publicity to the dental profession in general while showing the public what dentistry can do for them. We all benefit from this publicity. It's up to each of us to put the ethics into the delivery of oral healthcare, and promoting cosmetics along with reconstructing patients' pathologic dentition is a great public service." (Arizona dentist)

Celeb docs are good advertising

  • “Cosmetics is elective. We are competing for the consumer's dollar. Advertising is great!" (Texas dentist)
  • “If it gets people's attention to come into a dentist office finally, then it is a positive." (Pennsylvania dentist)
  • “People gladly pay for what they want… No dentist competes with the dentist down the street; we compete with that new car, new TV set, vacation, etc. Practicing dentistry for over 25 years, I am glad to have the skills and experience to be able to do great cosmetic dentistry. I work half as many hours as I used to, earn over twice as much income, and my patients enthusiastically refer their friends. Doing dentistry this way is fun and rewarding, and I am grateful for the awareness that the celebrity docs bring to the general public!" (Wisconsin dentist)

The cult of celebrity (and perfect celebrity teeth)

  • “I believe that most people want to look like celebrities. Since cosmetic dentistry has been exposed by celebrities, more people are inquiring about the procedures available to improve their smiles." (Florida dental office worker)
  • “Many are excellent. Some are bad. The bigger they are, the harder they fall. When a media guy falls, he gives us all a black eye." (New Jersey dentist)
  • “The celebrity dentists only push the extreme high-end procedures. Most people won't spend $40K + on their teeth. Most won't spend that on a car. Good for them if they can get it, but they do not represent dentistry as a whole." (general dentist)

Criticisms of "cosmetic dentistry"

  • “These individuals have NO advanced specialty training. They create self-serving societies to make it appears though they are superior. I do not remember taking a course in dental school called 'Ugly Restorations 101.'" (New York orthodontist)
  • “They make it seem too easy to the public and don't emphasize health implications." (Florida dentist)
  • “They usually have tons of money to throw at advertising; the end product for many of them looks like dentures!" (Texas dental marketer)
  • “The aggressive push for esthetics turns off many health-conscious patients. The underlying assumption is that EVERYONE wants a perfect, white smile." (Michigan dentist)

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