While the technology has allowed us to work from home and stay connected, it has also forced us to stare self-consciously at our own faces and enviously at those of our colleagues and friends.
Director of the Australasian Academy of Dento-Facial Aesthetics, Dr Myles Holt, said spending extra time in front of screens has led to a new phenomenon he has dubbed ‘Zoom-Face Envy’.
“Zoom-Face Envy has come about because many Australians are now confronting the reality of what they actually look like and comparing themselves with others as they sit through yet another work teleconference or virtual catch-up,” Dr Holt said.
“It seems many aren’t happy with what they see and want to improve their appearance before returning to their workplaces and social gatherings, once all restrictions are fully lifted,” he said.
“As our dentists begin re-opening their practices, their phones are suddenly running hot with calls from patients desperate for Botox and other rejuvenation therapies.”
“Perhaps unsurprisingly, patients are not in any rush to have fillings and root canals, but they are keen on feel-good procedures after being stuck at home for weeks looking more closely than they’d like to at their own faces, day after day, lined up against the faces of their workmates and friends.”
Dr Holt said demand at AADFA-member clinics around Australia was being driven by returning facial aesthetics patients who were forced to stop treatment in March, other dental patients who until now weren’t interested or didn’t think they needed such treatment, as well as new patients unable to go to beauty salons because such services remain shut due to ongoing safety concerns.
AADFA has issued the following advice for patients suffering from ‘Zoom Face Envy’ after surveying some of its 5000-plus members.
Many patients have used their time in lockdown to do their own research. While it is important that patients are well-informed about procedures being undertaken, AADFA member dentists have reported an increase in the number of patients asking for inappropriate procedures after seeing these online. There is concern patients will seek to have this work carried out by someone who is not well trained, does not have up-to- date knowledge and does not understand the risks involved. AADFA members only recommend treatments that best suit an individual patient.
There has been an explosion of videos and information shared online and through social media about DIY skin and beauty treatments. The advice provided is often dangerous and these treatments should not be carried out at home as they could cause long-term and irreversible damage.
Dr Holt said dentists who offer facial aesthetics services were fortunate to be able to re-open faster than clinics that only do traditional dental work, some of which is still restricted because they cause saliva and blood to be sprayed through the air and increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
“Because our dentists provide a holistic service, their patients can continue to access some oral and most skin health treatments in the one safe and convenient location and our practitioners can maintain their ongoing connection with their patients,” Dr Holt said.
“Our members are medically trained in traditional dentistry and have also completed additional training in facial procedures, they are subject to strict standards and COVID-19 health regulations, practise high levels of hygiene and understand the important physical and psychological benefits of helping patients look and feel good,” he said.
“Whether you are after whiter teeth or fewer lines and wrinkles after staring at your face on Zoom for long periods, you can be assured that you are in safe hands with AADFA member dentists.”
Patients are able to find a certified practitioner in their area by searching the directory on the AADFA website: https://aadfa.net/directory/