Richard Scarborough explores how people are proactively searching for specific dental treatments and how this can go hand in hand with patient finance to attract new patients…
Over the past few years many have noted the rising demand for teeth straightening and whitening among millennials, or a demographic that some refer to as the ‘Love Island’ generation.
This increased interest can only be a good thing for practices looking to increase treatment uptake. But not only are fans of reality shows or followers of social media influencers becoming more aware of services such as straightening and whitening, there is also heightened awareness of the big brands behind those services.
For example, Google Trends shows that online searches for ‘Invisalign®’ in the UK has steadily increased from 20 in June 2015 to 91 in January 2020 (the figure represents search interest relative to its highest point, not the actual number of searches).
As you may expect, that number dropped at the start of March 2020, no doubt due to the impact of COVID-19, however it is climbing back up and had reached 49 by May 2020.
This is worthwhile knowing when it comes to marketing your practice. As more people search specifically for these brands and treatments, it follows that they are likely to also be searching for a dentist near them that offers these brand-associated treatments.
And with more people looking for these kinds of treatment, many – especially if they are at the lower end of the millennial generation spectrum and more likely to be on the bottom rungs of the career ladder – will also be looking for ways to finance it.
The proactive approach that many people are taking to researching these kinds of treatments, and the potential need to spread the cost of it, is worth bearing in mind when it comes to attracting new patients to your practice. Perhaps even more so, as you look to rebuild your practice in the wake of COVID-19.
Sending out the right message
The impact of the pandemic on your patients will have been wide-ranging, but undoubtedly significant. It may have changed the financial situation of some, or altered the way they consider their disposable income.
But as we can see from the Google Trends data, many people are still actively searching for dental treatments such as teeth straightening. So, that desire for treatment is still there.
When it comes to your marketing and growing your practice, if you offer services like Invisalign®, make sure your patients, both potential and existing, know about it. And the same goes if you offer patient finance, especially in these times, make sure people know that you offer it.
Sending out the message through your website, social media, online and print adverts, external signage, etc that you offer these kinds of treatments, and that you have the facility to enable patients to spread the cost of them over several months, can help patients to choose your practice over another that may not offer these things …or simply may not be advertising it.
Of course, your marketing should be sensitive to what has been going on in the world and the changing concerns patients may have. But you can still attract new patients and support them to have the treatment they want and/or need in an empathic manner that acknowledges the different circumstances patients may be facing since the outbreak of COVID-19.
Knowledge is power
Knowing that your patients are proactively searching for certain treatments and have certain aspirations when it comes to their teeth, can help support and focus your efforts building your practice.
For patients, knowing that it is your practice that can provide them with the treatment that they want as well as a finance option that gives them the ability to go ahead with treatment that they otherwise may not have been able to have, will be beneficial to your brand and practice performance.
Richard Scarborough is the Head of Medenta, a long-established provider of patient finance. Medenta has been supporting dental practices for over 15 years with finance solutions that help patients to say ‘yes’ to the treatment they want. Offering some of the lowest subsidy rates in the market, Medenta is one of the few providers that offers its practices a comprehensive support wrap-around service, which includes an online patient application portal and an e-learning suite containing a range of learning modules, many of which come with vCPD and have been tailored specifically to the dental industry.
If you’re interested in learning how Medenta can help you to improve your patient experience, give us a call on: 01691 684175, or visit: www.medenta.com
Medenta Finance Limited is a credit broker and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Medenta Finance Limited (Registered in Scotland No SC276679) Registered address: 50 Lothian Road, Festival Square, Edinburgh EH3 9WJ. Tel: 01691 684175.