An article in The New York Times, When Stress Takes a Toll on Your Teeth, talks about a recent unexpected phenomenon dentists are seeing as a result of the recession. The article begins with this: "With economic pressures affecting millions of Americans, dentists may have noticed a drop in patients opting for a brighter smile, but they are seeing another phenomenon: a rise in the number of teeth grinders." It goes on to quote a New York dentist as saying, “I’m seeing a lot more people that are anxious, stressed out and very concerned about their financial futures and they're taking it out on their teeth.”
This is, of course, sad news for those patients. But it illustrates what I have been saying throughout this economic downturn: there are opportunities in every kind of economy. The fact is most of your patients are not directly affected by the marketplace turmoil, but they are worried, and may need extra coaching to see the value of dentistry. The ones who are putting off necessary treatment will inevitably return later with bigger issues to deal with. And as this article shows, the economic stress is actually creating new dental issues for some people. All in all, as tough as this recession has been, dentistry remains one of the professions that is best positioned to come out of it ahead.
How is the recession affecting your practice? Leave us a comment and let us know!