News & media News Implants and veneers top list of nation's oral health questions 14 MARCH 2019 Treatments such as implants, veneers, crowns and dentures have been revealed as this year’s most common enquiries to the Dental Helpline. They have made up more than one in seven (15%) questions to the Dental Helpline over the last 12 months. The charity which runs the free-advice service, says that telephone and email enquiries about treatments such as implants, and veneers have increased by a third (33%) compared to a decade ago. Dr Nigel Carter OBE, chief executive of the Oral Health Foundation, believes the statistics represent a change the UK’s attitudes towards oral health. Dr Carter says: “For many of us, the appearance of our smile has taken a much greater priority over recent years. In the past, it would be quite common to leave a missing tooth. Now we are searching for the alternatives to fill in the gaps. “There is little doubt that as a population, we are becoming more in-tune and aware of our options when it comes to cosmetic dentistry. “There has also been a significant shift how we view our relationship with our dentist. Rather than seeing ourselves as patients, we are increasingly more likely to identify as consumers. “As these treatments can still be relatively expensive, we are more likely to research them. This has become easier with the rise of the internet. It is also why more are reaching out to services like the Dental Helpline. As consumers, we want to feel reassured that the prices we are quoted are fair and that the treatments we are being advised to take are in our best interest.” In the UK, cosmetic dentistry is booming. The industry is currently valued at around £2.2 billion and is predicted to increase a further 8% by 2021.1 In addition to enquiries through its Dental Helpline, the charity’s website has seen a 50% increase in traffic to pages with information about cosmetic procedures. The other most popular enquiries to the Dental Helpline over the last year included how to find a dentist, lodging a complaint and clarity over dental charges. Earlier this year, the charity announced that the Dental Helpline had taken its 400,000th call. “To know that have been able to support so many people is very special,” adds Dr Carter. “The Dental Helpline will continue to be a friendly place for anybody looking to find practical and emotional support for their oral health. “If you are in pain, or simply feel that you don’t have the right information to make an informed decision about the health of your mouth, please do get in touch.” The free-advice service is staffed by fully-qualified dental professionals and all enquiries are completely confidential. The Dental Helpline can be reached on 01788 539780. Alternatively, questions can be sent in via the website at www.dentalhealth.org/dentalhelpline.