So what is 'cosmetic dentistry'?

A fast growing self-improvement business for cosmetic dentists in the UK

For years, the British public have perhaps best been known abroad for their poor teeth. With perhaps the best public health service in the world, this is surprising. With free or almost free access to dental health care, there seems, on the surface at least, to be no reason at all why we should have that reputation.

But, the fact is that we do and whilst dental care is inexpensive in the UK, it has tended to veer towards the ‘functional’ side of dental surgery such as fillings and extractions, rather than the cosmetic side. This is perhaps understandable when you consider the potential cost to the nation if everyone wanted to have their teeth whitened for example.

With the world becoming increasingly small, more and more people are now starting to sit up and take notice about what people are saying about our appearance and are starting to turn to cosmetic dentists to improve the aesthetic aspect of their teeth. Although these procedures can be quite expensive, perhaps the level of publicity surrounding celebrities has encouraged people to dig deep into their pockets.

We spoke to a private cosmetic dentist in Hanwell about why he thought people were turning to the type of work that he did. He explained that he thought that it was largely due to the celebrity culture which he felt had changed over the years. There was a time when celebrities were untouchable gods and goddesses but now, the idea of ‘celebrity’ is not necessarily someone with any particular talent which sets them above anyone else but someone who looks good and was in the right place at the right time.

Many of them come from similar communities to the rest of us which makes us feel that we too should have the benefits of cosmetic dental work that they have. Of course, celebrities also tend to have more money and so for most people, the primary procedure that people have done in the UK is a tooth whitening procedure. This is a relatively inexpensive procedure that can be done within an hour or so, making it within the reach of most people who would want the procedure.

Some cosmetic dental procedures of course, are more substantial and are used to strengthen the function of our teeth. Procedures such as dental implants and all on 4 procedures which are slowly replacing dentures and may even one day appear on NHS procedures although perhaps not until the cost comes down significantly. Until such time though that the whole ethos of dentistry in the UK changes, private cosmetic dentists are here to stay which does at least give the UK a chance to rid themselves of the reputation for poor quality teeth, especially in the US.