Fear of the dentist is still a significant roadblock that keeps millions of people from getting the care they need. Through social media, these practices are showing potential patients that dentistry isn’t as scary as they think.
For most people, while going to the dentist isn’t first on their list of favorite activities, they know it’s important enough to deal with the slight amount of stress involved. Modern technology has made dental checkups, cleanings and procedures easier and more pain-free than ever. However, for people with high dental anxiety and phobias, the prospect of a dental visit may be so unbearable that they avoid vital checkups that could prevent decades of pain and poor oral health.
According to a study by Colgate, it’s estimated that 9 to 15 percent of Americans cite anxiety and fear as the primary reason they don’t see the dentist. That’s around 35 million people!
As a dental professional, you’re probably all too familiar with the fears people have about checkups and treatment. You know that most of the reasons people have for avoiding the dentist aren’t logical, they’re rooted in emotion. You can recite facts about oral hygiene habits and the importance of dental care for years and still not change their minds. For an emotion-based obstacle, you need to create an emotion-based solution — and social media provides a way for you to do it.
Building Trust Through Social Media
Getting potential patients to overcome their fears and call or visit your practice is a matter of trust, and trust begins with familiarity. Social media gives you the opportunity to give people an in-depth look at your office and practice culture, your team’s personality, and how much you care about patient comfort and building relationships. Over time, as potential patients are exposed to more of your posts through your page and your current patients sharing them, you won’t be strangers to them anymore.
Check out what some of our clients had to say about building trust and helping people overcome dental anxiety through social media:
Payson Premier Dental
“Team members are frequently stopped in public places by patients and non-patients to tell us how much they love our posts and funny videos! We’ve become quite renowned in our small town and beyond. Social media has helped us establish our brand as a fun, caring family.”
—Sarah Hubbard, Media Coordinator
“We just wrapped up our first ‘Snap a Selfie’ campaign and it was a HUGE hit! When our patients check in to our practice and take a photo with our staff, it lets their Facebook friends know where they are, who they trust, and who we are. They can easily get our practice information so they can call and schedule a consultation themselves!”
—Carly Morrisett, Marketing Manager
“We get the most connections with patients and parents through Facebook, and it’s generated a lot of positive buzz in the community. The more our name is out there, the more familiar and comfortable people have been with coming into our office.”
—Dr. Richard Simpson, Orthodontist
MT West Dentist
(formerly Ordelheide Dental)
“My most successful efforts come from posting pictures of staff and patients. These attracted more attention, interaction, comments and Likes. Our practice is located in a rural, small town so people like seeing familiar faces in our posts. It creates a huge boost in trust and communications.”
—Kristi Scott, Marketing Coordinator
Not Just a Dentist, A Friend Too
Try to remember the last time you had to do something that caused you some anxiety. Did you have someone you knew and trusted, someone with experience, helping you along? Sometimes all it takes to turn something terrifying into something doable is knowing that you’ll have a friend supporting you. There are also orthodontics for kids that make them comfortable.
You can be that friend to the people in your community that are avoiding the treatment they need because of dental fears. Reach out to them on social media, through your own pages and through your current patients, and show them that you’re the type of practice that puts relationships and the patient experience first.