More wisdom from Seth Godin:
Most hockey equipment is sold to people who already play hockey.
via Seth’s Blog.
Godin makes the point that many of the things we buy to replace old items are not needed because the old item is no longer functional but we replace things in order to get the newest, most up to date, socially significant version. We replace things because having the new item makes us feel better about ourselves. That’s emotional obsolescence.
In high tech we are in fact faced with real physical obsolescence. For example once Windows XP is no longer supported we really do need to replace it in order to safely run our practices. On the other hand if you have a perfectly functioning iPhone 4 do you really need to get version 5?
What about our patients? Old metal based fillings and PFM crowns might be functioning at a minimally acceptable level but the fact is the patient would be better off with all new nonmetal restorations placed before the old ones actually fail.
They would probably be better off dentally (although that is sometimes hard to prove in advance) but they would certainly be better off emotionally to have the latest and best available in their mouths.