The end of Bling

1, 2, 3, 4,… … ..

………I detect a price war.

This post began after a conversation about Invisalign.

Three years ago you heard about it now and then.

Two years ago it started to grow in mentions.

Last year some practices survived by marketing and selling it.

To make a decent profit you had to:

  • buy a shed load of stock
  • keep your price high
  • give away other “goodies” to make your offer remark-able

Now – have we reached saturation?

  • everyone on the bandwagon
  • waiting list for training courses
  • profit margins squeezed

And my latest observation – a price war.

Take a look at Q Clinic and their web page on Invisalign – CLICK HERE


What do you think the profit margin on that will be?

Mind you, no different from the good folks at Kiss Dental giving away whitening at a 90% discount (see my Facebook post on that this morning).

Sprats to catch mackerels?


What we are looking at ladies and gentlemen, is the start of a price war.

Who are the winners?

  1. Patients (in the short term)
  2. Those with the deepest pockets (in the short term)

Who are the losers?

  1. Patients (in the long term)
  2. Those with the deepest pockets (in the long term)
  3. Those with the least financial resources (in the short term)

So I’m posing a question.

Now that “everyone” is constantly harping on about Invisalign (including me – guilty as charged), is it time to move on.

Price wars always end the same way – with the last man standing, exhausted and broke.

Discussing this with a client yesterday – who has started to market 6-month smiles CLICK HERE

  • 3 times faster
  • quite a bit cheaper (but still profitable)
  • can produce a result that may be more satisfying


I know that’s not innovation – a quick Google reveals plenty of practices optimising this product.

What seems certain is that this is a first sign of “austerity Britain” moving into a new phase of dental marketing.

To quote the late, great Sir James Goldsmith:

“if you can see a bandwagon, its too late”

I’ve had THREE conversations with “Bling” practices in the last ten days who are in deep financial trouble (by the way, if I visited in the last ten days, that wasn’t you – don’t panic!).

I predict the end of “Bling” – so – what comes next?

Please discuss.


Published by

Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.