Should You Add Medical Aesthetics to Your Dental Practice?

A recent development in the healthcare industry is to put medical aesthetics and dental practices together. In fact, between 35% and 45% of Skytale’s dental clients are interested in adding aesthetics to their practice. Prospective clients are asking about the same thing.

It’s a natural fit — dental providers are already familiar with the intimate care of a person’s smile, an extension of their face. And dental facilities may already be equipped to house medical aesthetics equipment and inventory. Most of all, patients often have a lot of trust in their dentist, and are warmer leads for additional services than a brand-new med spa might have access to.

Learn more about why dentists are adding medical aesthetics to dental practices and some early considerations. Or, you can listen to Skytale’s Greg Mahoney share about the intersection of dentistry and aesthetics on our latest podcast episode.

Why Dentists Are Adding Facial Aesthetics to Their Services

Familiarity with patients’ faces

Some dentists already consider themselves “dental aestheticians.” This means that not only do they offer basic dental care like fillings, extractions, and crowns, but they also use dental services to enhance a person’s smile. These could include anything from routine cleanings to whitenings and veneers. Dental aestheticians may dial in on the front teeth, as they’re the most prominent part of someone’s smile. Thus, adding medical aesthetics services would use the same aesthetic-focused skills to help patients love their appearance.

Rapid growth and momentum of the medical aesthetics market

We’ve shared before about the surging medical aesthetics market. Cosmetic procedures are becoming more popular across every demographic. It’s a great time to enter this thriving industry. 

According to the American Med Spa Association (AmSpa), the medical aesthetics market is worth $15 billion and growing. Polaris Market Research predicts the medical aesthetics market will reach a size of $63 billion by 2032. Just one medical spa has an average yearly revenue of $1.9 million. For dentists looking to grow their practice, increase its value, or attract buyer interest, adding medical aesthetic services might be a good strategy.

Value for patients

As every dental practitioner knows, most patients care about the appearance of their smile. But the growing med spa market shows that people care about all parts of their face, too, and are willing to pay out of pocket to enhance certain features. “Patients want to look younger and fresher, and there’s something you can actually do about it,” says Skytale’s Greg Mahoney. Having access to those services at a familiar space — their dentist office — can be a value add for patients.

Revenue for the practice

Aesthetic services are lucrative. Patients typically pay out of pocket, and the profit margins can be high. A good place to start is by offering injectables, like neurotoxins and fillers, around the face. Just make sure you and your staff are properly educated on state guidelines and how to administer these specific services.

Considerations Before You Start Integrating Medical Aesthetics to Your Dental Practice

If you’re a dental practitioner or DSO owner who’s curious about the idea of adding medical aesthetics, here are a few questions to ask before you begin. Having a clear understanding of the process can save you time and money later down the road.

  • What services should you start with? Our dental management consulting team suggests starting with injectables as the gateway. Injectables have a manageable inventory cost and learning curve. Many existing dental patients are already familiar with the value of neurotoxins (Botox) and fillers as a service. For dentists who offer cosmetic services, injectables are a natural extension. 
  • Who should you hire? In order to launch medical aesthetic services, you’ll likely need a medical director and physician on board to ensure patients’ safety. Regulations vary from state to state, but most boards don’t allow a dentist to act as a medical director. You’ll also need to hire a trained injector, PA, or NP to administer injectables or other medical aesthetic treatments. Consider your budget and state guidelines in order to build out your medical aesthetic staff.
  • How will you pay for it? Consider how you’ll finance these new services and whether you’ll take on debt. You’ll need to purchase inventory or equipment (like energy-based devices), hire the appropriate staff, and configure your space to be able to offer aesthetic treatments. 
  • What will the patient experience be like? Med spa patients tend to expect an elevated experience. But not all dental practices are already suited for that. You might consider ways to modernize your office and train your staff to facilitate an over-the-top patient experience. Patients need to feel like they’re coming for appearance enhancement, not the stereotypical dentist visit.

What Dentists Can Learn From Other Auxiliary Services They Offer

Some dental practices have launched an auxiliary practice-within-a-practice before, whether it’s sleep apnea treatment, implants, orthodontics or Invisalign. If you have, there can be overlap between that experience and adding medical aesthetics to your dental practice.

For instance, you’ll build screening protocols. As with other auxiliary services, you likely have a process in place for identifying good patient candidates. And you know when the right time is to pitch the service.

You’ll also need staff buy-in. When selling services beyond routine care, it takes the whole team. From the front desk to the hygienists to the physician, each staff member needs to be prepared to educate the patient and set them up for next steps.

Other commonalities between launching your existing auxiliary programs and medical aesthetics might include the budget, square footage needed, and marketing.

Let Skytale Be Your Guide

Skytale Group’s management consulting team can help you add medical aesthetics to your dental practice. Our combined decades of experience in the healthcare industry, including both dental and medical aesthetics, offers owners strategic insight in adding value to their practices. Contact us today to learn more about adding medical aesthetic services to your dental practice.