In the last few months I have had some interesting conversations with patients, one felt that £130 was far too expensive for a white filling, and another felt that her £13,000 new smile was cheap! How does this work?
Its funny how the human mind works, what things we value and what we take for granted. In the years that I worked in the NHS – I was never happy. The truth is that out of the 30-40 patients seen in a day, maybe one would actually be grateful for the time and effort that goes into doing the best job possible with the limited resources available under the NHS.
Since I moved to private dentistry, I am now able to do the best treatment possible, (and yes, this means my patients pay more in comparison), but for some reason I get a lot more cards from patients saying thank you, and they send me gifts at Christmas!
The difference with the two patients who I was referring to earlier is that one had disease, tooth decay, and this needed fixing. and the other lady wanted to improve the appearance of her smile. One was a needs based purchase, and the other was a wants based. As humans, we will generally spend a lot more on something we want (designer wear, holidays, cars) in comparison to what we need (Car insurance, MOT’s, electricity).
So back to my ridiculous title – cosmetic dentistry is cheap. Lets take the example of the lady, who spent £13,000 on her veneers and implants, what benefit do you think she got from her new smile? How about the confidence to smile in front of her family, friends and co-workers? How about this benefit lasting her for the rest of her life? Every moment she smiles, for the rest of her life, she will want someone to see her smile. Imagine how she feels when someone tells her that she has great teeth! These benefits do not have a definite value, and it means more to some people than others but to this young lady, £13,000 was cheap, not because the amount of money, but in terms of the benefits that it brings.