Lessons for Laser Clinics from Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry is booming. That’s not surprising in itself, because it solves an obvious aesthetic problem – people with teeth they’re not happy with can get them repaired and improved quickly and easily (albeit expensively).

What is more surprising is how this boom happened. Cosmetic dentistry is nothing new, in fact, the modern veneer has been around since the early 1980s. The surge in demand has been created by dentists adapting their offering, understanding their client’s needs, and moving from a medical offering to aesthetic an aesthetic one.

Beyond the Medical

For generations, dentists have proudly regarded themselves as medical practitioners. They are of course, but as a result of this patients were most commonly treated like …erm… patients and diagnosed and treated. Then, some dentists decided to adapt not only their offering but the entire experience of going to the dentist.

As this was happening, the traditional dentistry industry was evolving also. Audiovisual experiences to distract patients from unpleasant treatments, advanced tools to reduce pain, and other advances aimed at improving the medical experience were readily embraced by the industry.

On the flip side, cosmetic dentists started recreating their practices. Waiting areas were replaced with lounges, clients were then greeted in a meeting room, where they were met by a dentist wearing a suit – in stark contrast to being shown into a dental surgery and being greeting by a dentist in a gown and face mask.

The meeting would consist of a few simple questions:

A Few Powerful Questions

A traditional dentist will ask you to lie in a chair, look into your mouth, and ask something to the effect of, “have you had any pain or discomfort lately?”

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Cosmetic dentists will give you a glass of sparkling water and ask you –

  1. What don’t you love about your smile right now?
  2. Why don’t you like it?
  3. What would you like your smile to look like?

Then, they will take you through a process that may look like this:

The Visual, No Pressure Solution

The entire cosmetic offering is bound up into one promise –

You smile can be perfect and you’ll look better,

Sound familiar (apart from the smile bit)?

Then, you are finally escorted into the surgery, where photos are taken of your smile. Then, it’s a short wait before you are presented with indicative pictures – ‘here’s what your new smile could look like.’

Controlling the Process

Creating veneers takes time, and cosmetic dentists have discovered that time costs money. The longer you’re away, the less likely you are to follow through, so many have introduced an additional stage in the process: the creation of false veneers. This relatively cheap (often free to the client) product brings family and friends into the conversation. The client can literally show their loved ones what they will look like after the procedure is complete, and after that, the deal is all but done.

At the core of this process is the experience itself. Created with a goal of delighting the client and maintaining engagement, it triggers numerous positive emotions, including optimism, confidence, control, and good old-fashioned ego.