When it comes to taking care of our health and appearance, dentistry is perhaps one of the trickiest things to get right.
For beauty, we have numerous hairdressers and spas. For health and exercise, we have gyms and nutritionists. And when we need a doctor, we tend to turn to our nearest clinic.
But dentistry is something that requires a little more thought, research and, sometimes, budget.
We are extremely lucky to have access to the NHS in the UK. Although many people get by perfectly well with basic healthcare, a growing number are looking for something more and are increasingly able and willing to pay for it.
In the past, private dentistry had the reputation of being unaffordable. Something only those with impressive salaries could access. But this is changing fast.
We spent an estimated £3.35 billion on private dental treatments in 2016, compared to £2.75 billion in 2012.
The largest area of growth for the industry is aesthetic dentistry, such as teeth whitening, veneers and crowns. Spending has risen by 37% in just four years, from £1.75 billion in 2012 to £2.4 billion in 2016.
“Demand for private dentists in Manchester is growing as people face challenges with sourcing local, reliable dentists with the capacity to accept new patients,” says Dr Alexandros Nikolaou, a Manchester dentist and owner of Alenik Advanced Dentistry in the city centre.
“We are also a society focused on aesthetics – feeling good and looking healthy impacts our positivity and confidence.
“There was a time when private dental treatments were unaffordable for many and demand was modest. But with wage rises, population increases and Manchester’s growing reputation as an economically strong, desirable place to live, that’s fast changing.
“Consumers have more buying power and choice than ever and the same applies to healthcare.
“If people pay for dental treatments, they should expect well-maintained premises, clean surroundings and facilities and personalised, high-quality care.
They are starting to realise that these things are no longer inaccessible and that they can and should expect high standards when it comes to dentistry.”
Affordable private dentist
In a bid to make private dentistry options more affordable and accessible, Dr Nikolaou is currently offering dental check-ups at his Manchester city centre dentistry for £40. This includes a general dental health check-up and two x-rays which detect underlying issues that may not be outwardly visible.
Regular dental check-ups are recommended every six months to ensure any issues are caught and treated before they become a problem and offer reassurance that you’re doing everything possible to take care of your teeth.