A study released in September 2016 cast new light on the risks of untreated dental infections.
It had been previously established that dental infections increased the risk of heart disease by 200 percent. Those earlier studies were a little short of the mark.
The new study showed a nearly threefold risk of heart disease when a chronic dental infection was present; a 270 percent risk, to be precise.
This is news that your current and future patients need to know, particularly those at risk for heart disease or with a history of heart issues. But how will you approach the topic?
It’s a sad fact that people tend to ignore things that they should do to take care of themselves until something goes wrong. It’s also true that people tend to put off dentistry in favor of things they view as more important. You’ve probably warned patients again and again that unless they took better care of their teeth and gums, and had regular cleanings and checkups, they were facing gingivitis and worse.
And yet, you only see those people when something starts hurting or bleeding.
The newer, more robust link between dental infection and heart disease gives you the opportunity to do an “end run” around people’s tendencies to ignore what’s good for them. When you can link lack of dental self-care to a very serious condition like heart disease, people tend to pay attention.
Why? Because that kind of illness will almost certainly affect their loved ones as well as themselves. All of a sudden, it’s not just their problem anymore – it’s the possibility of not being around to care for their families or to watch their children grow up. That will get their attention.
And that’s the approach much of your content marketing can and should take. Illness of any kind – medical or dental – impacts more than just the individual. It affects their families and their friends.
When you broaden your approach to dental content marketing, you have ways to bypass your patients’ “filters,” those natural human tendencies to discount the importance of things they find inconvenient.
Dental problems don’t affect just the individual. Even a toothache impacts the individual’s family, friends, and coworkers, because significant pain changes us. And serious health conditions related to dental infection – not only heart disease, but lung problems, Alzheimer’s, and even diabetes – can devastate a family.
At the risk of overusing a term, dentists should take a “holistic” approach to addressing the need for dental self-care and professional help in their content marketing. More and more, we’re learning that no system in the body functions in isolation. And few, if any, of your current and potential patients live in a social vacuum.
It’s safe to predict that more dentists will adopt this holistic approach to dentistry as even more links are shown between dental infection and other health conditions. Get ahead of the curve and differentiate yourself from your competitors by broadening your approach to dental content marketing now.
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