What’s stopping dentists from launching into facial aesthetics?

CCR Expo 2015 offered aspiring facial aesthetic practitioners an idea of the market

A recent survey of dentists and GPs found that 90% considered offering aesthetic treatments such as facial injectables in their practice.

However, not all chose to do so. The survey found that the top reasons medical professionals chose not to have a career in aesthetics was a lack of knowledge regarding the legal and marketing requirements of the sector, lack of training and fear or media horror stories about botched procedures.

Dr Dev Patel, aesthetics doctor of Perfect Skin Solutions, argued that while a lot of dentists may choose to undertake a training course in aesthetics, they are often demotivated once they head back into practice.

Correct training combined with CQC accredited clinical environments make the dentist an ideal choice of clinician for this exciting and growing field

‘I know from friends who are dentists that once they do a training course in this area, they forget about it soon after,’ he notes. ‘They get back into their regular work and find it still gives them a lot of revenue. It seems that the motivation behind introducing facial aesthetics, on top of their regular work, just isn’t there.’

He adds that some dentists (and doctors) perhaps don’t know enough about the business model behind offering facial aesthetics as well as their regular treatments. The question is: how are they going to generate those patients, and who can help them?

Controversial yet lucrative

The survey was undertaken by CCR Expo 2015, Europe’s largest non-surgical and cosmetic surgery expo.

In order to guide dentists’ first steps into this ‘controversial yet lucrative area’, the expo introduced a series of presentations at its exhibition on 8-9 October in London entitled ‘Getting started in aesthetics’ – in partnership with The Dentistry Show.

Its aim was to help and support some of the UK’s 73,000 dentists make a start in aesthetics, with Dr Olha Vorodyukhina, Professor Bob Khanna and Dr Harry Singh presenting lectures on how to promote and grow your private practice, and setting up an aesthetic clinic.

The Dentistry Show hosted presentations on facial aesthetics earlier this year, demonstrating widespread demand for this type of specialised programme.

Professor Khanna comments: ‘At CCR this year I’m honoured to be demystifying the role of dentists in the facial aesthetics industry. In the last 18 years, I have shown that dentists are ideally positioned to be more than competent in facial aesthetics due to their underlying knowledge and skills.

‘With the correct training this unique skill set is very transferable, and combined with CQC accredited clinical environments, makes the dentist an ideal choice of clinician for this exciting and growing field.’

Delegates watch a live demonstration of a non-surgical aesthetic procedure at CCR Expo 2015
Delegates watch a live demonstration of a non-surgical aesthetic procedure at CCR Expo 2015

Take home

Dr Victoria Luckham-Jones, a dentist at Ripley Dentist Practice who attended the series, says: ‘Over recent years, I have received an increased number of requests from patients wanting to improve the frame of their new smile using toxins and fillers.

‘Normally this work has been referred. However, now that I have seen the “Getting started in aesthetics” programme at CCR Expo 2015, this should help answer my questions around regulation, training and marketing upon which I can set about keeping this work in-house.’

It seems the market for facial aesthetics exists, but dentists are still wary. Dr Patel believes the passion has to be there; dentists have to truly understand what it is that motivates them to introduce facial aesthetics.

‘Nothing is changing as rapidly as facial aesthetics,’ he comments. ‘There are still challenges in terms of regulations, but the rewards in this field are outstanding.’

Do you want to get into facial aesthetics? Have you recently introduced facial aesthetics in your practice, but are finding it a challenge? Perhaps you are enjoying the influx of new patients, and want to see your business grow? Share your story in the comments below

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