Who Else Needs a Good Foundation?
When planning dental implant marketing, dentists usually focus on the marketing itself, and with good reason.
Finding a great marketing company and getting your message out is a big part of selling dental implants.
And for that, you can’t do better than to reach out to Client Connection Group today!
But many times, forgotten behind the focus on a fancy marketing plan, are the foundational aspects of your practice or smaller, overlooked parts of marketing that can make all the difference in whether your dental implant marketing is a success or not.
Client Connection Group believes these aspects of marketing are also important. That’s why we’re focusing on them with this series of blogs – Laying a Good Foundation for Dental Implant Marketing.
Check out the first two blogs in the series:
In today’s blog, we’re going to look at a third aspect of a good foundation for dental implant marketing – focusing on fear triggers for our patients in general and also looking at the things that trigger dental implant fears specifically.
We’ll give you 5 ideas to help you help as many fearful patients as possible and begin to reap the greatest possible return on your dental implant marketing dollars!
Dental Fear and Dental Implant Marketing
Fear of dentists and dental procedures has probably been around as long as there has been dentistry. It is certainly a very real problem.
According to PubMed Central, 36% of the population suffers from dental anxiety and another 12% suffer from extreme dental anxiety. This means that approximately half the population feels a fairly significant degree of anxiety about their visits.
(These groups are to be distinguished from the 3% of adults who suffer from actual dentophobia, a fear so extreme that they probably will never visit the dentist at all unless they are willing to undergo therapy focused on reducing that fear. These people are usually beyond the scope of the techniques described in this blog.)
Focusing on this fear in your dental implant marketing may give your practice the chance to brand itself and stand out, leading to growth by reaching both general dentistry patients and dental implant patients at their fundamental point of resistance to seeking the treatment they need.
What Causes Dental Fear and Anxiety?
Reasons for dental fear include:
- A previous negative experience at the dentist
- Family history
- A feeling of loss of control
Almost two-thirds (61%) of anxious patients attribute their fear to a previous conditioning experience.
This should give dentists hope. If you can attach your name to a positive experience that will counteract the negative one, the chances of your having gained a lifetime customer are high.
Although family history may feel hard to combat and experiencing a loss of control may be, to a certain extent unavoidable, again, giving them a wonderful experience to draw on in place of negative impressions will reap tremendous rewards.
How to Combat General Dental Fear and Anxiety
Combating dental fear is important since, in the end, increasing the ROI of all of our dental marketing comes down to getting people into the dental chair.
So what can we do about dental fear and anxiety?
Perhaps we could try something a little different.
Why not use the wealth of knowledge that scientists have gathered about the mind and its associations to prevent, or at least allay, the initial triggering of our patients’ fears?
Perhaps if we could replace even just a few of the normal sensations of a dental visit with something different, we could begin to break down the learned behavior of our anxious patients.
With such a large percentage of the population fearing the dentist, even small changes in this direction could pay large dividends.
Dental offices tend to be fairly uniform, so here are some ideas for changing the experience in the waiting room into something a fearful patient might not have a box for.
Even if the experience on the chair is largely what they had expected, the memory of the pleasant, exotic waiting room will still be with them.
1. Aromatherapy in your office. (Patients suffering from dental anxiety are often highly triggered by smells.)
2. Beverage station in your office. (Having suitable drinks for the season at one’s elbow always makes one feel more at home.)
3. Electronic check-in on an office tablet. (The familiar clipboard of paperwork is a trigger that is easily replaced with something sleeker and more modern. This can reduce pressure as well since it feels more familiar, especially to young people.)
4. Water features in your office. (Running water is a well-known stress reliever that is relatively rare in dental offices.)
5. Consider having your team dress in something besides scrubs, or at the very least, make sure that brands and logos are prominently featured on your associates’ attractive attire to lend a less utilitarian air than is normally seen in offices.
Although other research has been done, consider collecting information from your own network in order to make sure that you have the best understanding.
Why not make it a mission to ask your patients, friends, family, and really anyone about the exact things that trigger their dental fears?
Invest some time and work into formulating questions about any negative images or impressions that they think about when considering treatment. Use these questions in customer surveys and questionnaires as well as in your own polling of friends and family in person and online.
Then, having gathered that information, DO NOT let it simply mold away on a hard drive somewhere! USE IT! Here’s a three-step guide to doing that.
- Make a conscious effort to counter in your procedures any fears, stereotypes, and paranoia triggers that your patients have identified.
- Incorporate this focus as a primary part of your branding identity for both general dentistry and dental implant marketing.
- Explain in all your advertising the difference that your approach could make to all your prospective patients.
Perhaps this would be something concrete that we could do that would move the needle on a problem that probably costs the dental industry far more than we realize.
Fear of Dental Implant Treatment Specifically
Dental implant patients experience many of the same fears as general dentistry patients, of course.
Here are some of the additional specific fears that dental implant patients usually experience. One important point is that education in your dental implant marketing can help with all of these areas.
- Health conditions or medical history: Certain medical conditions (extensive gum disease, poorly controlled diabetes, and lack of jawbone density, etc.) or medications might make individuals unsuitable candidates for dental implants. Patients may suspect they fall into these categories, leading to fear of rejection or exclusion from the benefits of dental implant treatment.
- Pain: Although this is common for most dental patients, fear of experiencing pain is usually front-of-mind for dental implant patients. Many patients will be slower to schedule implant procedures due to this fear.
- Surgical procedures: Since dental implants require a surgical procedure that involves cutting the gum and drilling into the jawbone, many patients experience genuine trepidation over that aspect.
- Needles and injections: Dental implants require local anesthesia to numb the area being treated. People with a real fear of needles and injections find this aspect of dental implant treatment very distressing.
- Fear of the unknown/failure: Patients are usually unfamiliar with the dental implant process and this produces trepidation. And although dental implants have a high success rate (approx. 95%), no one can guarantee the outcome of the surgery. Education can be especially helpful on this point.
- Cost concerns: Dental implants can be expensive ($40K-50K), and the fear of financial commitment causes many people anxiety as they approach treatment.
- Fear of missing teeth: People may be anxious about their toothless appearance or having temporary dental prosthetics while waiting for the implants to heal as they complete treatment.
Helping people overcome all these implant fears through education and communication in your dental implant marketing could make all of the difference for many people dealing with anxiety about dental implants specifically.
Removing fear triggers will also help your dental implant patients. In addition, many dental professionals also use techniques like sedation dentistry or relaxation methods to help patients feel more at ease during the process.
Make sure you let patients know about all that your practice has to offer in your dental implant marketing!
Be the doctor who reaches out and helps them and you will see a bump in conversions that will amply repay you for your efforts!
Wrapping It Up
Dental anxiety can make people nervous about both general dentistry procedures and dental implant treatment, leading to a debilitating fear that may keep patients from moving forward.
Many dentists do seek to address the issue by advertising all of the ways that they work to keep patients comfortable during both general dentistry procedures and implants: anesthesiology, deep sedation, etc., and this should be done.
Combating their customers’ dental phobia at its trigger point, however, is not usually considered when dentists think about the problem, probably because many dentists think that there is little they can do.
But there is much that we can potentially do. And doing these things would certainly be better than simply hoping that enough people swallow their terror out of sheer necessity or are lured in by deep discounts.
Dental Implant Growth Partner
For more help in educating your patients in ways that help them overcome their fears, reach out to Client Connection Group today.
We have a growing list of client dentists from coast to coast who have experienced the tremendous ROI of our dental implant marketing for themselves.