Current trends in cosmetic dentistry – BACD (British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry)

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  Posted by: Dental Design      6th December 2019

Most clinicians within the profession have been affected in some way by the rising demand for cosmetic dentistry. This industry continues to grow at a rapid pace, with more and more patients turning to cosmetic dental treatments as a way of improving their appearance. What was once only accessible to the fabulously rich and famous has become as mainstream and sought after as a new hairstyle. There are now a variety of procedures available to patients who want to achieve a healthier, more attractive-looking smile. Let’s consider some of the trends that are currently driving the boom in cosmetic dentistry.

Orthodontics and tooth whitening

Social media and celebrity influence are key factors contributing to the rise in patients seeking to emulate their favourite idols through cosmetic dentistry. Having the perfect “Hollywood smile” had traditionally been hugely appealing among patients. The desire for good quality aesthetics remains high, but many patients now seek a more natural-looking result from treatment. Clinicians can often achieve this effectively by following a minimally invasive approach. Rather than simply replacing teeth with dental veneers, for instance, orthodontic procedures can be provided to correct misaligned or overcrowded dentition, which preserves the natural structure of the teeth.

Orthodontic appliances such as clear aligners have become highly sought after as they can be used to correct minor alignment issues quickly, easily and discreetly. This is particularly beneficial with regard to anterior teeth – an area that is typically of huge aesthetic concern for many patients. Professional tooth whitening procedures have also become an appealing option for patients who want to accentuate their newly straightened smile following orthodontic treatment. A survey carried out by the American Association of Orthodontists found that almost all orthodontists encounter patients who request tooth whitening procedures.[i] Some clinicians would argue that this mirrors similar trends within the UK. Orthodontics and professional tooth whitening go hand-in-hand as a cost-effective and comfortable treatment option for achieving highly satisfactory outcomes.

Restorative treatment

Due to the profession’s shift in attitude towards a more minimally invasive approach, composite bonding procedures have also grown incredibly popular in recent years. Unlike dental veneer treatment, there is little to no tooth preparation involved with composite bonding. This can be completed within a single appointment, meaning patients experience quick and immediately noticeable improvements to their smile. In comparison to porcelain veneers, composite bonding is also a relatively inexpensive treatment option for restoring chipped, discoloured, or irregularly shaped teeth, with the added benefit that the restoration can be easily added to or repaired if necessary.

Practitioners must have a good understanding of minimally invasive techniques in order to competently and confidently deliver effective composite bonding treatment in the most conservative way. Having the relevant skills, experience and artistic flair is also essential in this case. The most skilled cosmetic dentists are able to accurately match composite bonding materials with the shade, translucency and surface texture of a patient’s natural tooth.

Dental implants

Dental implants have and continue to be a popular solution for restoring damaged or missing teeth. In fact, they have become a desirable alternative to removable solutions such as dentures. Some of the latest implants can be placed and restored in one surgery to achieve a long-lasting outcome. For many patients, aesthetics are valued just as much, if not more so than function with regard to treatment, which emphasises the importance of restoring dental implants with high quality restorations – whether it be a crown, a bridge, or other solutions. This involves taking various elements such as prosthetic design into account to ensure that the final restoration is indistinguishable from the natural teeth.

Advances in cosmetic dentistry demonstrate how important it is for dentists to continue building on their expertise within the field. One of the best ways to do this is by joining a professional organisation that encourages continued learning. A world-leading authority within cosmetic dentistry, the BACD provides access to educational programmes that enable clinicians to keep up-to-date with the latest techniques and concepts. With a commitment to facilitating professional development among its members, the Academy also offers practitioners the opportunity to join its prestigious Accreditation Programme. If completed, BACD Accreditation serves as a unique accolade among both patients and peers, demonstrating that successful candidates can deliver consistently high quality cosmetic dental treatment.

Staying abreast of the current trends in cosmetic dentistry is essential if practitioners are to continue delivering on patient demands and expectations. No matter whether they have chipped, crooked, misshapen, discoloured, or missing teeth, every patient should be able to benefit from cosmetic dental treatment. In many cases, highly satisfactory, long-term results can be achieved by preserving as much natural tooth as possible. Considering the advances that have already been made, it is exciting to think what the future may hold for cosmetic dentistry as the industry progresses even further.


For further enquiries about the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, visit


[i] Slack, M. E., Swift, E. J. Jr., Rossouw, P. E. and Phillips, C. (2013) Tooth whitening in the orthodontic practice: A survey of orthodontists. American Journal of Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics. 143(Suppl 4): S64-71. DOI: 10.1016/j.ajodo.2012.06.017.  

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