We just did an interesting study on the products we offer here at the laboratory, and we found that out of all the products we make, only two are seasonal. The first one is fairly obvious, but the second one took us by surprise.
Every year in the fall, demand for our PlaySafe® mouthguards explodes as the school year starts and kids begin practicing for fall sports. We also work with our dentists to make mouthguards for many collegiate and professional football teams, which can mean processing 125 sets of impressions at one time. But this was not the unexpected statistic.
The surprising statistic was the one related to our porcelain veneers. When we looked back at the sales for our lab over the last five years, we saw that the number of veneers we fabricate is at its yearly low every fall, and this trend continues through the winter and into early spring. And then, every year for the last five years, in a remarkably consistent pattern, our veneer cases explode in late spring and early summer. Starting in May and running through July, our veneer numbers increase almost 60 percent over those seen in the fall.
What is it about the impending summer that causes patients to flock to their dentists in search of an esthetic upgrade? Is it because bathing suit season is around the corner and, despite their best efforts, patients weren’t able to lose those last pesky 35 pounds — and therefore decided to distract attention away from their waistlines? Or might it be because of upcoming graduations and weddings for their relatives and friends, and all the outdoor smiling that is sure to take place?
Typically, our highest overall volume at the lab comes at the same time as yours: the last two weeks of December, as patients take advantage of their insurance benefits before the end of the calendar year. Veneers, however, are not a covered benefit, and they don’t experience this end-of-the-year rise; in fact, it is their smallest month in terms of volume.
So if you enjoy doing veneers (like the no-prep case Dr. Robert Lowe does in this issue), you may want to start promoting them to patients starting in about February. This will remind them that, very shortly, it will be spring, the season of rejuvenation for nature — and for coffee-stained, misaligned enamel as well.