Many adults need orthodontic treatment. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) estimates that 27% of all US and Canadian orthodontic patients are adults. But when you meet with adults, they often have very specific concerns about getting orthodontic treatment.
Here are tips on how to address those concerns:
Getting Orthodontic Treatment Would Make Me Look Vain
Many adults don’t want to invest in themselves because they feel guilty about “taking that money away from” their children, their spouse, etc. Even if there aren’t other family members to consider, they might think getting their own orthodontic treatment would show vanity. Why does a full-grown adult still need to worry about their smile? It feels silly.
You need to point out that orthodontic work is not purely cosmetic, but can head off real future problems. You can explain that “malocclusion” means “bad bite” and a bad bite can lead to chipped teeth, recession, periodontal disease, and jaw pain.
Dr. Chung Kau, Chairman and Professor of Orthodontics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, says this of malocclusion: “If you can't get a proper bite, that affects the entire function of your jaw. You could get migraines, jaw joint problems, disintegration of your joints.”
If such problems seem far off in the distance, patients need to understand that when their teeth are properly aligned, they can better chew their food, and a good bite can even improve the clarity of their speech.
People in customer-facing roles may appreciate the confidence that comes from a better smile. In fact, the improved confidence that comes with knowing you have a great smile directly impacts careers in general. Only smiling with a closed mouth doesn’t make as good a first impression as a full smile.
Assure patients your office will work on getting their insurance to pay their part and tell them you have payment plan options for the rest. Studies show that 51% of patients cite cost as a reason for not starting treatment. Let them know you want to work with them on payments because their oral health is important to you.
I Don’t Want to Look Like a Teenager
Explain the options that allow someone to undergo orthodontic work without anyone knowing at all. These include clear/ceramic brackets and invisible aligners. Plus, many adults are seeking orthodontic treatment, so they are in good company.
No Time for More Office Visits
Many adults worry about the time component of orthodontic treatment. Whether they’re considering wired braces or invisible aligners, they picture weekly trips to see you, which amounts to time taken away from work and from their kids, plus hours of lost productivity of all kinds.
This worry in and of itself could be enough to impact their decision!
When you talk about orthodontic services – either in their consultation or in your advertising – make it clear that you use a teledentistry tool like In Hand Dental. Make sure they understand that when you use a tool like In Hand Dental, they won’t have to make weekly or even monthly trips to the office.
They can have occasional check-ins with you, while being able to contact you through the app in a HIPAA-compliant way. Understanding that they won’t have to come into the office – while maintaining the peace of mind that you are just a message away – can assuage their fears.
Want to learn more about the In Hand Dental app and how you can use it to help adult patients get started with their orthodontic treatment? Click Here