By JONATHAN FINE
Dental surgeons have reported a large hike in patients wanting to fix what they wrongly believe are protruding teeth, not realising their phones create distorted images when held close to the face.
This is good and bad news. The bad news is what it says about us as a civilisation, but forget that, the good news is twofold: one, the universe is punishing people who pout at their phones too much, and two, dentists are getting more self-referrals.
If you realise you are dealing with one of these cases of “dental dysmorphia”, as well as strongly advising your patient to look at a mirror instead of a tiny Instagram picture to see how they look, you should offer to check if any parts of their face really do need work.
We could be looking at a substantial stream of new leads for cosmetic dental practices here: as reported in the Telegraph, the London Smile Clinic claims to have seen a 30 per cent rise over five years in demand for treatment to correct “horsey” teeth by people emailing in selfies. Clinical director Dr Bradstock-Smith said he talks two or three patients a week out of treatment, but even if he’s exaggerating and it’s just one a week, that’s potentially 50 new facial aesthetics customers a year, all with a huge long term value to the practice due to regular ongoing purchases.
If you’re receiving selfie enquiries and could use some advice on how to convert them into new patients, let me know.