Social media has brought significant changes to the field of orthodontics. Its increase in use has led to adjustments within dental offices to fit social media’s expectations, and it has altered patients’ perceptions about selective procedures.
Long before Photoshop and Instagram filters, ancient civilizations enhanced their smiles the old-fashioned way. The Mayans filled holes in their teeth with jade, Etruscans perfected rudimentary golden grills, and Egyptians crushed rock, mint and dried iris flower to create the world’s oldest identified toothpaste.
Your feed on social media is full of ads. One minute you’re looking up pulpal necrosis on Google and the next, a plush, personalized, toothpaste subscription box is asking for your email on Instagram. As a dental student, you can’t help but be skeptical of these products and the broad claims they make.
As campus recruiters, we get a lot of questions from dental students about how to better position themselves in front of recruiters. A question that comes up time and time again is, “How can I network with other dental professionals and recruiters on LinkedIn?”
This generation of dental students will be the first to use social media as a tool for marketing and engaging with patients and dental colleagues. From AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) to MySpace, then Facebook and now Instagram and Snapchat, we have grown along with the wave of social media platforms. Unfortunately, so has our digital footprint. As we continue to move forward in our careers, we must consider our professional image and the content we shared online before dental school.
Do you spend way too much time on Instagram? Have you felt like too much of your precious time is spent staring at photos, captions and hashtags on a three-by-five inch screen? Well, there’s good news. If you follow the right Instagram accounts, it will not only give you more opportunities in the field of dentistry, but it can help you connect with other students and professionals.
Many people see their dentist more often than their doctor so establishing a connection with your patients should be a priority. To ease the “awkward” phase of getting to know patients, several dentists have chosen creative marketing techniques that combine their hobbies with social media. The goal is for patients to feel more connected with their dentist and dental health.