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Tough economy takes its toll on teeth

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Tough economy takes its toll on teeth
Tough economy takes its toll on teeth
by Keri Kramer, Chicago Dental Society

CHICAGO, IL, USA: In preparation for the Chicago Dental Society’s 145th annual Midwinter Meeting, which will draw more than 30,000 dental professionals to Chicago, society members were asked about current trends, dental care tips, and more. More than 250 of the society’s member dentists responded to the fall 2009 survey.

Here’s what the society found out:

Dental downturn continues
The effects of the recession on the local dental industry have worsened since last year. More than 90 per cent of dentists surveyed said their clients are putting off cosmetic procedures, up from 60 per cent last year. More than 75 per cent of dentists say their patients are putting off needed dental work — in 2008 nearly 55 dentists noted the same. And visits for preventative dental care are also on the decline according to more than half of dentists, up from more than 40 per cent of dentists reporting the same last year.

Stressed out? Check your mouth
Nearly 75 per cent of dentists surveyed said their patients are reporting increased stress in their lives. And 65 per cent of dentists are seeing an increase in jaw clenching and teeth grinding amongst their patients, signs that stress may be taking its toll on the mouth.

Word of mouth advertising is tried and true
More than 80 per cent of dentists say that word of mouth is still the most popular way new patients learn about their practice.

Dentist reviews on Yelp?
While websites Yelp and Angie\'s List report dentistry as their most searched health category, 55 per cent of dentists surveyed don’t believe review Web sites impact their practices. 12 per cent of dentists think such online review sites have helped their practices. Nearly 40 per cent of dentists say their practices have been reviewed online.

‘Refresh\' your mouth with corn dog mints or cupcake floss ... really
Interesting food flavors continue to make their way into dental products. The most intriguing for dentists? Mango toothpaste, according to almost 40 per cent surveyed. More than a quarter of dentists wouldn’t mind trying chocolate toothpaste. Other wacky flavors dentists would sample: cupcake or coffee dental floss and corn dog mints.

Driving dentists want you to remember their ride
One quarter of dentists surveyed admit to having vanity license plates, and 10 per cent of those say their plates are dentistry-related.

To brush or floss first?
That is the question, but there is no definitive answer. Dentists were split right down the middle on how you should start your oral health regimen.

Julia Roberts still has a winning smile
For the second year in a row, a majority of dentists report that the actress leads the pack for most requested celebrity smile amongst women. Tom Cruise and Tiger Woods both get the men’s top pick.

The survey was conducted for the Chicago Dental Society\'s 145th annual Midwinter Meeting, which will bring more than 30,000 dental professionals to Chicago 25-27 February. The Midwinter Meeting is a forum for dentists to learn about new products, technologies, and methods.


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