Richard Scarborough explores the effects of reality TV on Millennials’ attitude towards cosmetic dentistry.
With the UK experiencing a handover from Generation X to the Millennials as the largest demographic across the country, no business can afford to ignore the impact of the ‘selfie generation’ on potential income.
In terms of dentistry, many believe there is an obvious link between the popularity of reality TV shows like The Only Way is Essex and Love Island with Millennials and the rising demand for cosmetic dental treatments. Social media has also massively influenced uptake in treatments such as whitening, veneers and Invisalign.
A letter to the Daily Telegraph drafted by dentist and BDA Principal Executive Committee (PEC) member Tony Kilcoyne and signed by over 1,000 dentists earlier this year, said: ‘We’ve seen a big increase in straightening in the last year. Whitening has been increasingly popular for a good few years. With Instagram and social media making people like the idea more and more.’
And at a recent event, Eddie Crouch, vice-chair of the BDA’s PEC, said: ‘I was with the Invisalign team recently. They say that social media and reality TV have the biggest impacts on their business over the last 10 years. Love Island has driven so much demand.’
With this in mind, you may want to think about how you can capitalise on tapping into the Millennial market. And how patient finance could support this area for growth.
Millennials are now the main demographic feeling the economic pinch
Aged between 23-38 years, many describe Millennials as the generation of self-indulgence. They are seen to be spending their income on avocado toast and chai lattes that they can take photos of for Instagram.
But, according to a new study, British Millennials are the most financially challenged in the developed world, following Spain.
Despite the economic issues they face, including higher living costs, lower income generation and higher debts than previous generations, UK Millennials are three times more likely to have a cosmetic procedure than adults aged 35 and over.
In fact, this particular group are now overtaking the US in terms of uptake on cosmetic treatment.
What’s making them overlook their financial circumstances?
One of the key motivators for this demographic is an Instagram-worthy aesthetic. This is made more evident by their TV preference for cosmetically-focused reality TV.
A recent study shows physical appearance and improved self-esteem is more important to Love Island viewers (who overwhelmingly fall into the Millennial demographic) than the general public.
Millennials are also online-savvy. They look for the most affordable options when it comes to cosmetic dentistry. As such, they’re not averse to taking shortcuts that may have a negative effect on their oral health.
The BBC recently revealed that there has been a 26% spike in illegal whitening procedures. This is causing patients to suffer from burns or in the worst cases, tooth loss.
How patient finance supports your patients and the future of your business
Helping your Millennial patients achieve the lifestyle they want to lead without having to resort to potentially dangerous treatments is a win-win.
Offering patient finance allows them to spread the cost of the high-quality treatment they want in a safe environment. It brings the money that they would have spent elsewhere into your business. Simple.
Removing the financial barriers for this demographic and understanding their needs and motivations will support the future of your business. Particularly with the increasing influence they have on the economy.