Dental implant marketing needs to be aggressive in reaching seniors who are progressively losing their teeth.
Although this is a common problem for the senior community, the negative health and emotional impacts are far too severe to simply accept tooth loss as a normal part of aging without doing all that we can to remedy it.
Here’s the full list of the health dangers that missing teeth represent.
- Higher risk of dementia
- Reduced life expectancy
- Social isolation and loneliness/Depression
- Poor self-rated health
- Grief over losing natural teeth
- Oral cancer
- Other life-shortening conditions – cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, etc.
Check out our blogs on the first 3 points.
Today, we’re going to dive into the 4th and 5th points on this list. How can we reach seniors with the news that dental implants are the solution to their poor self-rated overall health and grief over losing their natural teeth?
Defining Our Terms for Dental Implant Marketing
First of all, let’s define our terms. What are we talking about with these two terms – self-rated health and grief over losing natural teeth?
Poor self-rated health, or SRH, is the assessment that a person subjectively makes of their health. Although this is subject to all the usual human frailties of both reason and imagination, studies are showing that people with fewer teeth simply believe themselves to be in far worse health than those with more teeth. This has real consequences for their lives.
Grief over losing natural teeth is just what it sounds like. People grieve the loss of their teeth in much the same way that they grieve the loss of a loved one, or at least they can easily go through the same stages. This does, of course, vary by the individual.
Dental Implant Marketing to Seniors With Poor Self-Rated Health – SRH
A study from India with 85-year-old participants indicated that older adults with more than 20 teeth had better subjective physical health than those with fewer than 19 teeth.
The seniors in the study who rated their oral health as poor also self-reported their general health as far worse than those who rated their oral health favorably.
Since tooth loss adversely affects seniors’ ability to enjoy and communicate with others, this poor self-reported health is not surprising. Interacting with others boosts the health and spirits of people at any age far more than most of us realize.
The curtailing of this necessary human companionship due to their embarrassment of their toothless state leads to the deadly vortex of isolation and depression.
Although some of their problems may occasionally be imagined due to this depression, senior isolation and loneliness are almost as physically dangerous for them as smoking 15 packs of cigarettes per day!
Tooth loss robs seniors of the self-esteem that they need to move confidently into society.
This loss begins to tell on their health in very real ways since the poor self-reported health numbers – meaningful as they are in themselves – are backed up with poorer general health among those with bad oral conditions.
It turns out that their gut feeling is right- the worse seniors feel, the worse their health becomes.
Our dental implant marketing needs to TELL them, however, that this is not the end, no matter how poorly they rate their health.
Dental implants can completely restore their SMILE and they will quickly rediscover the life that they thought they had lost forever!
With those renewed social connections will come a far greater sense of well-being, along with a host of other benefits to their health such as being able to eat crunchy vegetables and fruit.
Both their self-reported health and their actual health will take a decided turn for the better.
What a wonderful message to share with the seniors in your community!
Grief Over Losing Their Natural Teeth
People place great importance on their native teeth and encounter real grief on many occasions upon losing them.
Although they often admit to “feeling silly” that they are so affected, it is not something many edentulous or partially edentulous people can completely escape.
The emotional journey after losing teeth can be a serious life event and often follows the same stages as the grief over losing a loved one typically does. Those stages are:
People, of course, vary widely in the time that they require to walk through each stage. Some pass through each one rapidly, while others struggle for years or even for the rest of their lives.
Of course, much of this grief is due to the lifestyle changes that losing natural teeth brings. As we said, tooth loss means that the MOST BASIC human activities – chewing your food, speaking to your neighbor, smiling at your friends and loved ones – become difficult and embarrassing.
Other reasons for grief include fearing the judgment of others on their lives. They may believe that tooth loss will make them appear to be lazy, sloppy, or in a poorer socioeconomic class. They may believe that their job advancement will be jeopardized due to this tooth loss, and many times that is a valid fear.
Social media often exacerbates these fears. People scroll through their friends’ pictures and feel that everyone else is experiencing and enjoying situations that are lost to them. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) can be an overwhelming problem for these people.
All these factors lead many people into these stages of grief, and dentists see people at every point on the grief journey.
First, the people are insisting that their teeth are fine when they are quite literally falling out – classic cases of denial.
The anger shows itself later when the dentist finally tells them that nothing will save their teeth.
Those in the depression category are completely despondent about their condition; their life may as well be over since it has come to this.
Bargainers talk endlessly about how much worse things could have been, but finally, most people arrive at Acceptance; there is nothing they can do to save their natural teeth.
Dentists need to offer a genuinely sympathetic approach to those grieving. Tooth loss is real and emotional to many people and those of us (including dentists) who have never lost teeth sometimes forget this.
But we can do more; we can offer genuine sympathy without allowing them to believe that losing natural teeth is the end of their life.
And those who grieve the most are the most in need of our assistance because they are the most likely to descend into grief, lose confidence in themselves, and have difficulty carrying on with their lives.
Dental Implant Marketing and Grief Over Tooth Loss
And acceptance that they lost their natural teeth does not mean accepting LIFE without teeth! As we have made abundantly clear, LOSS OF TEETH IS NOT A HEALTHY CONDITION FOR ANYONE!
In our dental implant marketing, we need to tell them that although they grieve their natural teeth and will never get them back, there is STILL HOPE FOR THEM!
Truly, the most sympathetic thing we can do is to offer them this hope and that’s the wonderful role that dental implant marketing gets to fill!
We get to restore GENUINE SMILES to those who thought they had lost theirs FOREVER!
Use your dental implant marketing to connect with the many seniors in your community who need your message.
Dental Growth Partner for Maximum Connection
Would you like a dental implant growth partner capable of reaching seniors in your community who are struggling with poor self-rated health and grieving the loss of their natural teeth?
Would you love to run ads that spread the word to seniors that living with missing teeth is dangerous?
Our powerful educational advertising will SHOW seniors how much implants could change their lives and will fill your calendar with patients!