Clenched jaws abound during this recession, and a combination of stress-related damage and layoff victims rushing to be treated before they lose their insurance is helping keep dentistry afloat as the economy dives. Dentist's offices last year reported the highest profit margins of any industry, including top moneymakers like accounting and legal services, Time reports.
Uninsured patients who put off routine maintenance usually give dentists more revenue eventually. "It's human nature to say, 'If it doesn't hurt, I don't have a problem.' Then all of a sudden you need a root canal," says a New York dentist. For many insured patients, the clock is ticking. Says the dentist: "People know that if they're going to lose their job, they damn well better use their dental insurance."