Wellness & Lifestyle Dentistry Supports Green Dental Patients
A growing community of consumers describe themselves as prioritizing the wellness lifestyle and environmental stewardship.
- Long-term health and beauty
- Conserving resources and lightening their load on the planet
Put simply, they seek to live a lifestyle that provides lasting wellness for their bodies and the planet. And, they see these two efforts as inter-connected.
This growing demographic:
Building a base of wellness lifestyle patients provides a solid foundation for your practice and helps insulate it from economic uncertainties.
A few characteristics of the wellness lifestyle patient:
Prioritize Preventive Health. Because they’re all about prevention, these patients “get” the oral-systemic connection, and value treatment recommendations (such as a pro-active professional hygiene program, digital imaging, and mercury-free restorative materials), that are minimally invasive, help them avoid chronic illness, and are safe.
They also prioritize wellness, which means when faced with family budget cuts, preventive health appointments such as professional teeth cleanings stay on the calendar while dinners on the town take a back seat.
Information-hungry. Wellness lifestyle patients will devour your educational resources, whether it’s information about oral health as the foundation of overall health, an intra-oral visual tour of their mouth, or the extra effort you’ve made to reduce waste and pollution. Wellness lifestyle patients will take the time to inform themselves as active participants in achieving their optimal state of well-being and will appreciate you and your team as valued resources.
Promote What They Believe In. Forget yellow page ads. When you serve wellness lifestyle patients to their satisfaction, they will serve you very well – sharing avidly with their friends and family about your practice. Wellness lifestyle patients tend to have multiple and extensive social circles. They are more skeptical of traditional advertising than the average consumer, so word-of-mouth, social networks, and independent online resources (such as the EDA Member Search) are their preferred way to find a service provider that matches their values.
Where to find the wellness lifestyle patient, and how to attract them to your practice:
They’re everywhere! Look for wellness lifestyle consumers at your local health food store, yoga studios, gyms, and community non-profit events. Leave your cards, or better yet, join a yoga class or a local non-profit cause, offer to provide a free workshop at the fitness center, or host a “Save 90 A Day!” Campaign booth at your local farmer’s market.
Promote your participation in the EDA and become EDA Certified. Wellness lifestyle patients applaud your involvement in values-based networks and respect meaningful eco-certifications.
Incorporate educational and wellness treatment services (such as laser hygiene), and you’ll create a foundation for the well-being of your green dental practice!
If you already have a high-tech practice, chances are, you’re greener than you think you are.
Cosmetic, high-tech, holistic, and mercury-free practices focused on patient comfort are well-positioned to attract the green dental patient.
You may be missing out on new patients who don’t realize you’re green!
For green dental patients, terms like “cosmetic” conjure up images of plastic surgeons, expensive and un-necessary treatment, and Hollywood-fake smiles. Terms like “bleaching” cause concern about product ingredients. But that doesn’t mean green dental patients aren’t willing to engage your services so they can look their best. Green dentistry can help communicate your services in a way that doesn’t turn-off this important and growing patient-base.
Eco-Friendly “Bread and Beauty” Dentistry
“Bread and beauty” dentistry makes the most of your professional skills and experience and keeps your practice booming, even in challenging economic times.
Bread and beauty dentistry helps patients achieve:
- healthy periodontal tissue
- functional oral structure
- a naturally youthful and healthy appearance
The first step in re-positioning your practice as green is to find your place on the green continuum.
Are you light green, with a list of initiatives and a plan in place to ensure your practice matches green patient expectations?
Are you true green, having implemented all the required measures patients want in an eco-friendly practice? You might be surprised to know you have!
Or are you a darker shade of green, taking it to the next level?
Wherever you are on the green dentistry continuum, tell patients! The EDA can help you communicate your services in a way that resonates with the green dental patient.
Marketing the green dental practice helps you articulate your value in a way that resonates with the green dental patient.
Wellness lifestyle patients tend to be skeptical of traditional advertising claims.
This means you can stop throwing money in the trash and wasting natural resources with postcard mailings and monthly marketing contracts. Focus instead on low-cost digital, word of mouth, and social media outreach, provide great service, and green dental patients will handle your marketing for you!
Here are some simple marketing suggestions for the green dental practice:
- Include your EDA Member logo or EDA Certification seal in all your marketing materials to set yourself apart from the crowd.
- Host educational booths at your local Green Festival, Earth Day events, or local schools. Host a “Save 90 A Day!” Campaign booth to engage participants. Hand out “Save 90 a Day!” Campaign buttons and be sure to collect by contributing eco-friendly toothbrushes and your business card.
- Reach wellness lifestyle patients where they shop and play – post information about your office at the local natural food store, gym, yoga studio, acupuncturist, massage therapy practices.
- Join your local green business networking group and attend their events.
- Check out the GreenDOC™ Product Guide for digital marketing services
- Get listed in the EDA Member Search so green dental patients can find you
A Word About “Green-Washing”
Green dental patients are particularly concerned about “green-washing,” the practice of making environmental claims for a product or service with little or no environmental benefit in an attempt to gain business.
Some companies will make slight adjustments in a product, or make no adjustments at all, and re-position the product as “green.” For instance, slightly reducing the size of a disposable plastic water bottle and positioning it as “green.”
This practice not only damages consumer confidence in green business and products in general, it can ruin your reputation among a very vocal and highly networked crowd.
You don’t have to do everything perfectly, but it’s important to meet a basic standard if you’re promoting your practice as green. Use the EDA Checklist of Standards for Green Dental Offices and make sure you’ve implemented all the “required” items before marketing your practice as green. If there are gaps, just be sure to honestly communicate to your patients where your office is on the green continuum, and any changes you’re in the process of making. They’ll appreciate your authenticity!