Is There an Older Market for Cosmetic Dentistry?
With the rise in the popularity of cosmetic dentistry in the UK, practices wishing to compete should not exclude an older market for their services.
Who are dental implants for? Is cosmetic dentistry only confined to younger people, who, reportedly, put more of a priority on appearance?
When private dental practices are putting together their strategic marketing plans, they should whether marketing treatments to older patients has its benefits.
Boomers and Budgets
According to the Resolution Foundation’s Intergenerational Commission report, baby boomers hold considerably more of the UK’s wealth than millennials – half the country’s £11 trillion.
This also represents a significant amount of economic clout.
Who are the baby boomers? They are the generation born between 1946 and 1964. They were born during a boom in the UK’s population growth, and make up around a sixth of the total population of the country.
But, as we’ve pointed out, they own a disproportionate amount of wealth.
And in many cases, quite a lot of this is disposable. But, 27% of consumers over the age of 55 feel ignored by brands, according to research.
Are private dental practices making the same mistake as other brands in ignoring this potential market for their services?
As most baby boomers get older, they will require more dental treatment, and this is a generation that continues to be active and socially engaged.
Many of this generation will live up to 25 years longer than their parents did, but in so doing, will require routine maintenance to maintain their quality of life, and this includes dental treatment.
The other thing about baby boomers, from a marketing perspective, is that they are digitally well-connected. Therefore, they are more likely to be receptive to digital marketing, and to share their experiences with others.
Typically, they will spend time investigating and searching for things online to purchase, including services, and writing reviews based on their experiences.
This presents plenty of opportunities for private dental practices to position themselves to appeal to the boomer market.
What Makes Boomers Eligible for Dental Treatment?
The mouth is the body’s gateway. Oral bacteria is associated with various serious medical conditions, including heart disease and diabetes. Therefore, good oral hygiene is essential in older people.
There are also links between medication and getting cavities. A common cause of cavities in older adults is a dry mouth, which is a common side effect of many different medications.
Consequently, visiting the dentist is a more necessary, and frequent, experience.
And as people get older, quality of life becomes increasingly important.
Dentures can play a big part here, especially if people find them difficult or even embarrassing to manage when they are socializing.
Modern implant surgery offers solutions to older patients which weren’t previously available. Implants can be as long-lasting and effective in older patients as they are in younger people.
Dentists can be uniquely positioned to offer added value to older patients by encouraging them to explore the potential of advanced treatments such as implants.
Dentists have warned that 1.8 million over 65s in the UK may have urgent dental problems.
Therefore, dental practices have a key role to play in supporting an ageing population. However, this shouldn’t prevent them from offering a lot more than basic dental care to a generation that is more attuned than ever before to maintaining its quality of life.
“Dentists fulfil an important need, but their services are evolving and developing as the requirements of older generations of patients are changing. There are opportunities here that private practices shouldn’t ignore.”
Pete Higson, RPA Dental