Members of the baby boomer generation are increasing the demand for cosmetic dental procedures because they are looking for teeth that help them look and feel younger, reports the Academy of General Dentistry, an organization of general dentists dedicated to continuing dental education.
"The reason cosmetic dentistry is experiencing a boom is that baby boomers want to preserve their youthful appearance," believes Susan Sup-Barnes, DDS, FAGD, spokesperson for the Academy of General Dentistry. She says that most patients who want to change and improve their smile are in their late thirties to early fifties and have more disposable income.
Dr. Sup-Barnes asks her patients how they rate their smiles on a scale of 1-10. "If they rate their smile a five, I always ask what it would take to get to a higher number," she says. If patients inquire about different procedures, she explains the different cosmetic options available.
There are many cosmetic dentistry treatments available that can help patients look and feel better about their smiles, such as bleaching, bonding and veneering. All of these options help teeth look brighter. Bleaching makes teeth whiter and bonding and veneering can help change a tooth's shape.
"Cosmetic dentistry is popular for the same reasons that plastic surgery is--baby boomers, more than every before, want to stay and look healthy and they are willing to pay for it, especially if it means cheating the fountain of youth," Dr. Sup-Barnes concludes.