When cheap isn’t the way to go

Last weekend a dentist told me a terrific story that speaks to the whole idea of helping people to understand the value of dentistry.  So often we’re challenged with getting the idea across to patients that spending money on their teeth is worthwhile.  It’s unfortunate that because health insurance plans exclude the teeth, people assume that they are not as important as the rest of their bodies.  And the concept that their overall health is directly linked to their oral health is trickling out very slowly amidst all the noise about health care in the past couple of years.

Anyway,  the story.  This dentist was planning on doing some painting on his house, so he and his son went to Home Depot to buy a ladder.  Once in the ladder section, the father began checking the tags on the ladders, and the son asked, “Dad, what are you doing?”  The dentist said, “Looking at the prices.”

And then his son said, “Dad, do you really want to climb up on the cheapest ladder?”  Beautiful. So simple. So clear.  And here’s the kicker–his son was ten years old!  Imagine if we could get people to see that they really shouldn’t want to find the cheapest way to maintain their teeth.  If I were a dentist, I would tell this story, and then draw a direct parallel to the patient’s teeth.  And explain it to the person like a ten year old!

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