Demand for perfect Hollywood style teeth has dropped by half, according to the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.
A survey (to coincide with the BACD’s annual conference) shows that two thirds of its members have seen a big decline in clients wanting ‘extreme’ smiles.
Instead, people now want to preserve the individual character of their teeth so are shunning invasive dental treatments that involve the teeth being filed down or removed.
For the first time, US dentists are travelling to Britain to learn about techniques that allow the smile to ‘fit in’ with the natural features of the face.
These techniques include gum sculpting and ‘speedy’ braces that can realign teeth within a few months.
Singer Cheryl Cole is among the celebrities opting for subtle treatments such as invisible braces.
In May, she was snapped by photographers leaving Orthodontic House in Drayton Road in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, following a check-up.
This was on the same day it was announced she’d filed divorce proceedings against husband Ashley Cole.
And, more recently, we reported the latest fashion ‘must-have’ – a gap between the front teeth a la model Lara Stone.
Nik Sisodia, BACD president-elect, said techniques pioneered in the UK are now being copied around the world and that British teeth are no longer so widely ridiculed.
He says: ‘In the past, US dentistry was often perceived to lead the way in regards to cosmetic and restorative treatment, whereas UK dentistry did not always enjoy a very glamorous image in some countries around the world.
‘Rules for what was considered aesthetic could lead to techniques involving tooth structure to be cut back, and replaced with porcelain veneers. Although individually veneers can look attractive, UK and European patients generally prefer individualised smiles that ‘fit in’ with the natural features of the face.’
The formula favoured by American dentists is a perfect ratio of tooth length to width, the relative position of teeth to one another and to the lips as well as tooth brightness.
But this has led to patients being over-treated and ending up with similar smiles involving irreversible dental work. In some cases, budget dentists have used inferior quality veneers mass-produced to a uniform shape.
The academy says this has led to a backlash with a move towards the ‘European aesthetic’ featuring mild misalignment or slightly unruly ratios of tooth width to tooth height.
The BACD in conjunction with the American Academy for Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) hasbrought together some of the world’s leading aesthetic dentists to an international meeting in London this week.
It is taking place today (Thursday 23) to Saturday 25 September 2010 at the Hilton London Metropole Hotel, Edgware Road, London W2.
The full list of participating speakers is available at www.bacd.com.