Dental Health Trends in California
Dental Trends In California
Trends are about more than music and fashion; they affect the dental industry, too. In California, there is always a demand for the newest and latest in dental treatment protocols and technology. Patients expect superior customer service, a streamlined office experience, comfortable care, and effective treatment. As patients become more and more educated about their dental options, they are increasingly ‘shopping around’ for dental offices and providers that can accommodate their needs, preferences, and schedules.
If you are wondering about the dental trends in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Irvine, Sacramento, San Jose, Fresno, Long Beach, Oakland, Bakersfield, Anaheim, Stockton, Riverside, Santa Ana, Chula Vista, Fremont, San Bernadino, Modesto, Fontana, Oxnard, Moreno Valley, Huntington Beach, Glendale, Santa Clarita, Oceanside, Garden Grove, Rancho Cucamonga, Santa Rosa, Ontario, Elk Grove, Corona, Lancaster, Palmdale, Hayward, Salinas, Pomona, Sunnyvale, Escondido, and other major California cities, this page provides the answer to your questions. The dental trends discussed in this page apply to all California metropolitan areas.
Popularity of Treatments and Procedures
When it comes to dental treatments and procedures, there is a rise in demand for cosmetic treatments that deliver a movie-star smile. The demand for discreet adult orthodontia, for example, is at an all-time high. Products like Invisalign have produced successful marketing campaigns that have provided information to the general public about the benefits of treatment. As more and more people successfully undergo treatment, more and more of their friends are also demanding discreet orthodontic treatment that is not disruptive to the appearance or lifestyle.
Teeth whitening is also seeing a renewed interest among patients. This ages-old cosmetic treatment has evolved in recent years, and patients are starting to get wind of the changes. Unlike the prescription-strength tooth whitening of just a few years ago, which often delivered gleaming white teeth accompanied by intense tooth sensitivity, today’s more advanced in-office whitening gels offer gradual-release peroxide. For those with especially sensitive teeth, a desensitizing fluoride gel is available to prevent deep peroxide penetration and reduce the painful after effects of tooth whitening.
Another dental trend is the demand for modern dental veneers. Though they have been around for many years and are very popular among Hollywood stars, today’s modern dental veneers are far more advanced than ever before. These fabricated shells can be used to makeover a patient’s smile without damaging the surface layers of the teeth. Whereas dentists needed to ‘prepare’ the teeth and trim them back to make room for veneers before, today’s thinner veneers can change the entire appearance of a patient’s smile without the need for any tooth preparation.
Laser dentistry is surging in popularity and finding multiple avenues for use. For patients who get veneers, for example, dental lasers can be used to reshape the gum line for a more even and aesthetically-pleasing appearance. Lasers have also been used to remove tooth decay, eliminate dangerous bacteria from tooth surfaces during root canals, and remove oral lesions. Perhaps most interesting, however, are some of the new laser protocols that could be shifting the dental market in years to come. CO2 lasers, for example, only recently enjoyed FDA approval for use in dentistry. They could prove more effective and comfortable than drills.
In addition, lasers are also being used to regenerate broken teeth and perhaps even prevent the development of third molars (wisdom teeth). Studies have shown that a series of laser treatments administered over the course of six to seven weeks could halt the development of wisdom teeth beneath the surface of the gums long before they are ready to erupt. The results so far seem promising and could indicate a reduced need for surgical molar removal in the future.
Utilizing Technology in Modern Dental Practices
Technology is constantly evolving – even in the dental market. There are new techniques and equipment that are rapidly reshaping the patient experience and also simplifying care for office staff members.
- 3-D printers: One current trend in California dentistry is the use of 3-D printers for diagnostic treatment and procedure mapping. In just a few moments, patients can see a three-dimensional visualization of their mouths, including any problems that may be present within the teeth and gums. Dentists are also using this technology to create models of what a patient’s smile could look like with certain types of restorative or cosmetic treatment, potentially increasing office revenue.
- Paperless Dental Offices: In addition to three-dimensional technology, more and more dental offices are opting to maximize the benefits of the cloud to create paperless offices and personalized care for patients. There are now options for maintaining HIPAA-compliant communications with patients that also allow for easier billing and scheduling.
- Social Media: Perhaps most notable, however, are the changes in how dentists communicate with and market to potential patients. Social media, blogging, and blogging have become an avenue for relaying helpful information, establishing a professional image, and staying connected with the local community.
Some dental offices are staying at the forefront of technology trends by developing not only their own mobile-friendly websites but also their own mobile apps. This allows for push notifications, in-app promotions, automated appointment reminders, and much more.
Dental Economics in California
When it comes to dental economics and how it relates to California dental practices, trend are showing that more and more people are foregoing insurance and using dental savings networks and health savings accounts to cover the cost of dental treatments. This could be partially in response to rising insurance costs, but it could also be reflective of the increase in self-employment, which means more people are leaving corporate insurance markets.
As a result, more and more dentists are opting for group practices instead of single-provider offices. By operating in a group, dental offices are better able to accommodate patients who seek flat-rate dental exams or who may be interested in an in-office dental plan that facilitates affordable care without insurance.
Among children, overall expansion of government programs in California has led to an increase in demand for services for children and is expected to continue increasing in years to come. Among young adults, however, the story is different. Young people under age 40 are increasingly exposed to better oral health education and preventative care and treatments that minimize their risks for oral disease. That means that the rate of restorative treatment is shrinking for this population group, although demands for cosmetic treatments are expected to rise. Dental patients over age 40, however, are representing a rapidly growing population group. In fact, patients ages 40 and older will outpace younger patients nearly 2 to 1 by the year 2040
Dental Trends in Specific California Cities
It’s hard to pinpoint the exact dental trends happening in various cities throughout the Golden State, as that type of data is not as easily tracked as it is from state to state. However, if a dental trend in Los Angeles become popular, it is most likely a dental trend in Sacramento or Oakland, too.
From popular treatments and procedures to dental technology trends and changes in dental economics, you may notice that all of these dental trends are prevalent in nearly every California metropolitan area. Examples include:
• Los Angeles
• San Francisco
• San Diego
• San Jose
• Long Beach
• Santa Ana
• Chula Vista
• San Bernadino
• Moreno Valley
• Huntington Beach
• Santa Clarita
• Garden Grove
• Rancho Cucamonga
• Santa Rosa
• Elk Grove
• Silicon Valley
Interestingly, the most common reasons for undergoing trendy new restorative or cosmetic dental treatments can vary from city to city and region to region. For example, Sunnyvale, is part of Silicone Valley, where corporate professionals and technical engineers are constantly interacting with executives. Over in Sacramento, there is a high concentration of state and national politicians who must be camera-ready at a moment’s notice. Since a quality smile makes a good first impression, dental trends may emphasize the need for uniformity and aesthetics.
In Los Angeles, however, there are many celebrities who face public scrutiny about their appearance. In order to look confident in auditions and land roles for commercials, television shows, movies, and modeling, it becomes necessary to have a beautiful, white, gleaming smile. The stakes are even higher for established celebrities who have an appearance to uphold. They cannot go to just any dentist and risk an error that alters their appearances. Instead, they look specifically for Los Angeles dental offices or offices in outlying areas that feature highly credentialed dentists and the latest in quality, efficient dental technology.
Predictions for Future California Dental Trends
As social and technological trends evolve, we predict that the future of California dentistry will continue to skew toward digitization, provider-patient connectivity, and increase in group practices, and the use of three dimensional printing technology in the dental office. We also predict that more and more patients will seek out in-office dental plans that allow them to forgo complicated insurance policies and instead acquire affordable care from a single provider.
Eventually, the rapid changes in dental technology may even make it possible for dental groups to more easily facilitate an in-house lab, provide faster turnaround for patients. What used to take weeks may take only days. Not only does this provide a more positive patient experience, but it could also create an opportunity to lower outsourcing costs by bringing complex custom dental prosthetic manufacturing under the roof of the provider.
Whereas dental scanning, imaging technology, three dimensional printing, and milling were once a unique and uncommon office feature, it will soon become the standard of most California dental practices, from Northern California to Southern California and everywhere in between. This will pick up speed as the Food and Drug Administration begins to more rapidly approve the use of certain intra-oral materials used in the milling and 3-D printing process. As these materials become more readily available and the in-house technology is more widely adopted, it could also drive down prices for the provider and patient – something that could potentially drive even more patients through the door of California dental practices.