We are interested in reaching out to upscale cosmetic dentistry businesses in the Southwest U.S. to offer a unique advertising solution that also increases customer review scores on sites such as Yelp, Facebook, Google, etc. However, the cosmetic...

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We are interested in reaching out to upscale cosmetic dentistry businesses in the Southwest U.S. to offer a unique advertising solution that also increases customer review scores on sites such as Yelp, Facebook, Google, etc. However, the cosmetic dentistry industry is a new category for us. We need to understand as much about the business side, including revenues, where they come from, how an individual or group practice works, and what average P&L sheets look like - again for upscale cosmetic dentistry businesses.

Introduction

Dental cosmetics is a multibillion dollar industry focussed on modifying the look of a person’s teeth, gums, or bite. To be more specific, the Doctor Weighs In, a site featuring articles by medical specialists, states that “improvement of tooth position, color, alignment, shape, and size, working towards a better-looking smile overall” is dental cosmetics’ focus. The industry is a growing one based on increased demand from millennials and boomers. Thus, a wide range of dental practitioners, from general dentists to oral surgeons and orthodontists benefit from the increased demand. However, this also means that the industry moves quickly and care must be taken that you stay on top of new developments.

The Market

Millennials and baby boomers have contributed to a resurgence and growth of the dental cosmetics market. The market generated $16 billion in revenue in 2015, the latest data. Baby boomers have the financial resources to spend on dental products. The modern day focus on aesthetics have led to boomers replacing lost teeth, as 69% of boomers between the ages of 35 to 44 have lost one tooth. Millennials, on the other hand, have grown up with social media and online personas. To keep up appearances, millennials are purchasing a growing share of dental cosmetic work.

According to a comprehensive study of the market, dental practitioners believe that referrals from family and friends, improvements in the science of cosmetic dentistry, baby boomers desiring a more youthful appearance, and better information online were the most important factors in driving demand to their offices. Overwhelmingly, the same people voted that lower prices wasn’t an important criterion in driving demand.

There are many reasons why patrons would go in for dental cosmetic work. However, the top cited reason was to improve physical attractiveness. The second top reason, interestingly, was that work was procured to fix previous cosmetic work. The third top reason was that work is done in preparation for an upcoming event, which is clearly very similar to the first reason. The majority of the cosmetic dentist’s work is crowns, bonding, veneers, whitening, implants, and bridges. However, the very most popular treatments are whitening and bonding.

Dentists are usually integral parts of a community. Most practices have been in operation for years which make them stalwarts of the neighborhood. A business plan by a dentist taking over a practice in a community noted that he must strive to become part of the community. Rather than simply being an office where dental work can be performed, he must be known around the institutions and businesses of the community.

A typical Profit and Loss sheet looks like the following, which was taken from this source.

Income:
Insurance: $53000
Patient Payment: $47400
Interest: $600
Refunds: -$1000
Income: $100000

Key variable expenses:
Advertising: $3000 or 3%
Dental Supplies: $6000 or 6%
Lab: $8000 or 8%
Total: $17000 or 17%

The Future

Dental technology continues to evolve. Dental design technology allows dentists to map a client’s teeth on to a 3D space to see changes in real time. Some companies promise rapidly molded new teeth due to the efficiency provided by modelling software. 3D printing is another area that can contribute to the efficiency and reliability of cosmetic work. Companies such as HiSmile have innovated the industry by providing vegan, organic, and environmentally conscious dental cosmetic products. The future of the industry may rely on appealing to the environmentally conscious considering HiSmile’s success.

Conclusion

Dental cosmetics is a quickly growing industry that one must keep on top of if they wish to succeed. Appealing to boomers or millennials, who both want to keep up appearances, is a key to a thriving practice. New developments such as the rise of environmentally conscious products is also another major area to keep in mind.
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