We are all aware social media is very much the cultural norm is the current day, with growing engagement and interaction across all demographics. Being simple to use and easily accessible, it is a great tool to help us all stay connected. From a health perspective, in the past people didn’t want to share details about an illness, condition or even disease, other than with their nearest and dearest, however today’s patients seek out peers, Facebook ‘friends’ and strangers on forums to discuss symptoms, suspected diagnosis and elective surgery.
The negative side of social media has been well documented and the ongoing need to address and improve this remains. The falsified reality has fed into a cycle of unrealistic and unattainable social, lifestyle, physical and mental expectations, which has massively impacted individuals confidence, wellbeing and self esteem. While social media is a valued platform to express ourselves; glorifying fit, perfect, flawless images has a significant impact on what people aspire to look, live or behave like, which in extreme cases results in body dysmorphia, due to emulating an image that is unattainable, anxiety or depression.
In the modern era, patients or customers, whether that be at our practice or in a shop, will have formed opinions of a company, their service or product, and establishment prior to even walking through the door, due to the influence of online presence, especially social media. For example years and years ago, if we wanted to buy a car, we would find a local car dealership and physically look at vehicles which appealed to us; often where our parents had bought from or that is nearest to where we lived, before test driving and discussing features with the salesman, now most people have researched options online; gathering other drivers’ opinions and decided the car they want to buy and even the price they are willing to pay, before even engaging with a salesperson.
This is witnessed regularly by the team at Kingswood Parks Clinics, within the dental and aesthetics industry. For us, social media is a valuable method of communication for our patients, those suffering with self esteem concerns, are able to contact us remotely, without coming into the practice, gather substantial information prior to committing to an appointment to relinquish control and review honest testimonials and reviews to assure them they are in good hands! However patients also come to us with a physical or mental image of what they want prior to starting treatment, from photos they have seen online. People like to pretend their lives or image are perfect and better than they really are, maybe they feel living in the real world is boring and want to stand out, but this tempts or encourages people to manipulate photos before posting. Which are often the photos we see, when people ask bring us images of what they would like to achieve, immediately resulting in patients’ expectations being unattainable.
We are fortunate in that treatments such as bonding (composite veneers) can be performed in a digital manner, allowing patients to try out the new look and feel of their new smile prior to the actual treatment being carried out. This is a similar situation with Invisalign, a patient can see a simulation of their new smile after treatment. However this isn’t always viable with all treatments we offer, and if a patient is comparing what they want to a doctored or filtered photo of a celebrity, they could potentially be disappointed.
Here at Kingswood Parks Clinics we like to take time at the start of the consultation process to discuss what the patient wants from their appointment or course of treatment, developing a bespoke treatment plan based on the individual, rather than a mental image they have seen of a reality star. This can be challenging with a few individuals, but most enjoy and appreciate the journey the practice offers, which is echoed through patient reviews and testimonials.
While we attempt to display clear photos, using quality equipment, good lighting and exact comparative angles (for both before and after photos), our photos will never be filtered, tweaked or doctored.
The team at Kingswood Parks Clinics, want to help everyone achieve their dream smile or skin makeover, that is right for them personally. Should you require any further details or want to start your treatment journey with us, please message us through the Contact Us section, through social media or call the practice on 01482 440084.