Too bad the onslaught of horror stories about dodgy facial aesthetics (by non-dentists) has slackened, but at least it’s been an interesting summer for dentistry in the media so far.
In Times 2 the Scottish journalist Deborah Orr wrote: “‘Teeth are central to our sense of self. The only exposed part of the human skeleton during life, they are one of the most prominent features of our appearance.’ These are the words with which the Wellcome Collection in London greets visitors to its show about the history of dentistry, Teeth.
“I know exactly where the curators are coming from. For as long as I’ve been aware of my teeth, I’ve been self-conscious about them, hated them even. Tiny, crooked, full of gaps, especially right at the front, they caused me to suppress every smile and look at the ground as I spoke.”
Despite years of smiling with her mouth closed, Deborah was against expensive cosmetic dentistry, but in the article she explains why she changed her mind and spent £30k with our client Ten Dental. The change of heart came after she wandered into their “cool-looking” practice and met Ten co-owner Martin Wanendeya and his “group of hip young drill-slingers”.
And while members of the chattering classes like Deborah are converting to the miracles of advanced cosmetic dentistry after a lifetime of fear and suspicion, high profile sports athletes are still not quite there yet. A study, also reported in the Times (athletes blame rotten results on their teeth), found that UK athletes have bad teeth which affect their performance.
The odds of tooth decay were higher for elite athletes than the general population and were 2.4 times greater in team sport than endurance sport. Out of a sample of 350 elite performers 49.1% had untreated tooth decay, 77% had gingivitis and 39% had bleeding gums. Dentists said only 1.1% had mouths in excellent condition.
Some 32% of the athletes said that oral health issues had worsened their sporting performance and many experienced negative effects on their self-confidence, as well as their ability to eat and sleep. Ian Needleman, the University College London report’s lead author, said: “This is the most methodologically robust study to ever evaluate oral health and associated performance impacts in elite athletes.”
All of the above is perfect grist for the mill if you want to articulate how your private practice meets the different needs of the heterogenous market segments out there. Give us a shout if you’d like to discuss how to update your messaging.