With plenty of pearly whites on show on our TV screens and celebrities like Holly Willoughby and Niall Horan happy to walk around with braces on, there has never been a greater demand for them.
According to new research, carried out by WhatClinic.com, cosmetic dental treatments have seen an unprecedented growth over the past year.
The results revealed that demand for braces and teeth whitening treatments were particularly high, with enquiries for braces up by 89% in the past 12 months.
Meanwhile, with the cast of reality TV shows like The Only Way Is Essex cast showing off gleaming sets of pearly whites, laser teeth whitening treatment enquiries have more than doubled (116%).
Enquiries for clear braces have risen 177% in the past year, while ‘invisible’ lingual braces, which can cost more than £3,000, have increased by 60%.
Clear braces have proved especially popular with adults, but this demand has seen the average cost for this type of brace shoot up 26% in the past year, from £1,754 to £2,206.
Cosmetic teeth whitening continues to grow in popularity across all age groups. With celebrities like the TOWIE girls Maria Fowler, Lauren Pope and Chloe Simms, swearing by laser teeth whitening, this celebrity stamp of approval has seen a surge in demand.
However, unlike braces, the cost of teeth whitening treatments has actually fallen over the past 12 months even with growing demand. Two years ago, having laser teeth whitening at a private dental clinic would have cost on average £448. Now average prices have dropped by almost a third (31%) to £310.
This drop in price is largely due to increasing competition between clinics and the availability of home whitening kits. Unlike braces, consumers are able to buy teeth whitening kits from high street pharmacies and this do-it-yourself option is a major factor driving down the cost of private treatment.
Caelen King, CEO of WhatClinic.com, comments: “Enquiry levels for private dental treatment have risen more than a third over the past 12 months. With NHS dentists struggling to cope with demand and waiting lists continuing to grow, more and more people, frustrated with the waiting times for treatment, are turning to the private sector rather than waiting for an NHS appointment.
“Demand is especially strong for good quality but affordable cosmetic dental treatment, especially corrective treatment to align and straighten teeth, which isn’t available through the NHS, unless there is a clear clinical need for treatment.
“Braces, once the scourge of the teenager, are now proving popular with all ages. Advancements in orthodontic technologies mean that patients today have a wide range of unobtrusive braces systems to choose from. And seeing celebrities wearing braces out in public has definitely taken away some of the stigma attached to them.
“Remember though, if you are looking to have some private dental work carried out, do your research and don’t commit to the first quote you receive. With thousands of private clinics competing for custom, and a wide range of prices across practices, it is possible to save tens, if not hundreds of pounds, without compromising on quality, by shopping around.”