As competition soars for jobs and mates; men no longer ignore appearances
Los Altos, CA /PRNewswire/ - Fueled by a historic surge in the tech industry, more and more Silicon Valley men are getting cosmetic dentistry like veneers, or minor surgery like liposculpture this year, experts report.
The tech boom has boosted competition at all levels of a company, so more and more men are getting into the dentist's chair for cosmetic work, said Peninsula Center of Cosmetic Dentistry's Dr. Bruce Hartley. The nationally featured, leading cosmetic dentistry practice in Los Altos is not the only one seeing the uptick.
Dr. Dean Vistnes of Vistnes Plastic Surgery in Palo Alto said he's seeing more men also opt for non-surgical cosmetic treatments like botox, and Ulthera, or minimally invasive eyelifts or liposculpture.
"It's competition — 100 percent," said Dr. Hartley. "You have five or six guys vying for the same job and one looks handsome, has a nice smile, dresses well and looks sharp — he's going to have an edge."
Social mores are changing, said Dr. Hartley. A generation ago, men could ignore their looks, and just be confident in their on-the-job performance. Today, that's not enough, whether you're interviewing for your first job, or appearing on television as CEO. We live in an era of social media profile pictures, videoconferencing, and keynote addresses projected onto 20-foot screens.
"I have a lot of the CEO types that say, 'Hey, I'm up on a big 30 foot-screen or on television now. The last time I saw myself on the business channel, I didn't like my smile.' They're seeing that, and realize a new smile will make a difference."
Dr. Hartley specializes in veneers, which are porcelain coverings permanently bonded to teeth in order to fix worn, discolored, crooked, chipped, or gapped teeth. Some smiles can be fixed with as little as four veneers, which can start at $8,000-$10,000. Some folks get 20 veneers, ten on top on and ten on bottom.
For younger guys, they're often fixing an insecurity that has dogged them their entire life, and the procedure takes two visits instead of two years for braces.
"When they land that first job, they quickly amortize the cost of the procedure," Dr. Hartley said.
A great smile is ageless, which is why more older male engineers are getting their teeth fixed to keep their edge in the youth-centric tech industry.
"When you meet someone new, the first thing they look at is the eyes and then the smile," Dr. Hartley said.
Dentistry and skin treatments are going hand in hand to boost confidence, Dr. Vistnes said.
"Cosmetic dentistry is all about restoring that confidence in your smile, and we're seeing anything that goes along with that," he said.
Men are among the most rapidly growing segment of non-surgical work Dr. Vistnes does through his skincare clinics called SkinSpirit Medspa. Men are availing themselves of botox, fillers, and skin tightening treatments — which use powerful, new sub-dermal energy to thicken and tighten skin without the redness, dryness or peeling of older methods.
Patients are starting in their 30s and 40s to save themselves bigger problems down the line — almost like preventative maintenance, Dr. Vistnes said.
Bay Area guys are super-healthy and fit, Dr. Vistnes said, but they can't fight time, so he sees a lot of guys who say they don't look as good as they feel. Others are also returning to dating for the first time in decades.
"It's amazing how much more fit people in the Bay Area are," Dr. Vistnes said. "So we're looking the mirror and going, 'I don't really feel how I look.' It's frustrating.
"You're competing with younger people at work trying to get jobs. It's not right, but people who hire, they want that younger image."
While men have historically been chickens about going under the knife compared to women, more are also opting for minimally invasive procedures like eyelifts, or liposculpture of the neck.
The upper eyelid shows a guy's first signs of age, said Dr Vistnes, and patients tell him that, "People say, 'Oh, you look tired. Or, 'You look sad.'"
No matter how much we work out, the neck and jawline thicken as we age and "it's really difficult to get rid of."
A generation ago, men just had to suck it up and act like they didn't care. "Guys have options now," said Dr. Vistnes. "The whole paradigm for how we're looking at the aging process is changing."