Fortunately, according to research conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), it isn’t – or, at least, not as true as it once was. In actual fact, it has been found that the average number of missing or decayed teeth in the UK is less than one, while in the US, it’s around 1.3. The figure for the UK has been steadily dropping in recent decades from around 5.6 missing or decayed teeth in 1963, falling under the US in the mid-1990s,
But what has precipitated this significant change? Had we all simply had enough of being made fun of – or was there something else at work?
In truth, one of the main reasons for the improvement of the British smile is the fact that dental education in the UK has improved vastly. The public is far more aware of the dangers of neglecting their oral health and have a greater appreciation of the links between conditions such as periodontal disease with other general health concerns like heart disease and diabetes.
Of course, this increased knowledge is facilitated by more widespread access to the internet. With 89 per cent of the population accessing the world wide web , the dissemination of dental-based knowledge is far greater now than ever before.
By this same token, people across the UK have a far better understanding of cosmetic dentistry and the level of dental aestheticism that can be achieved with modern techniques. Indeed, patients nowadays are far more likely to request treatments such as implants or tooth whitening without having to be told about them first by their dentists – and are more willing to pay to receive them. Indeed, figures from 2015 show that public expenditure on cosmetic dentistry in the UK has risen by approximately 27 per cent since 2010 – equalling a gigantic £1.86 billion.
However, it remains the case that the UK has some of the most expensive dentists in Europe, and while many more people may want to change the appearance of their smile through cosmetic treatments, they are still mindful of cost. Unfortunately, this has led to a widespread surge in the number of people trying alternative methods – usually through DIY kits or illegal tooth whitening salons. In the best case, these treatments are simply ineffective – one only needs to look through the tabloids to see the worse case, with patients suffering from burnt mouths, punctured gums and far worse.
As such, it is the responsibility of UK dentists to address these risks and find a way to encourage patients to seek cosmetic treatment from licensed and experienced practitioners only.
One very effective way of doing this is to join the Munroe Sutton network. Through Munroe Sutton’s exceptional Healthy Discounts scheme, member practices can offer their cosmetic treatments to patients at an attractively reduced price, without having to worry about losing revenue. Indeed, thanks to Munroe Sutton’s dedicated and wide-reaching marketing network, member practices will actually see an increase in referrals – and a boost in profits.
Ultimately, however, this will allow practices to offer exceptional cosmetic dental treatments to the patients who want them most – in a safe and ethical manner.