My tooth doesn't hurt
That's not something you think about very often, is it? (Not my tooth, your tooth).
When you have a toothache, on the other hand, it's all you think about.
This is a double-edged sword for dentists. On one hand, dentists have no trouble whatsoever getting business from people with toothaches. They hardly have to try. Just show up, I'll find you. On the other hand, when my teeth don't hurt, you're invisible. No amount of signs, service and wonderful marketing is going to get me to pay you to drill my teeth when they don't hurt.
There are two challenges for toothache marketers (dentists and non-dentists alike).
1. Figure out a cost-effective way to be there. A way to gently be in my face so that when my toothache shows up (in whatever form that takes) you're the obvious choice.
2. Create new products and services that build engagement and possibly revenue among members of the population that aren't in pain. That, of course, is why teeth whitening services are so smart. You can sell to people who didn't know they had a problem until they met you.
The worst thing you can do is get frustrated when the population (which is very different from the market) ignores you. I'm not in your target market until my teeth hurt, right?
PS No, this isn't a marketing post for dentists. There are toothache marketers in just about every industry. Realizing it is the first step to dealing with it.