Compare your stats for adult fluoride treatment with other dental practices

Sikka Software analyzes an increase in the amount of adult fluoride treatments per dental practice.

Mar 17th, 2017
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By Kevin Henry

How many of your adult patients accept fluoride treatment? The answer could depend on a number of things. However, we have an average for you to know and judge when comparing your practice to other practices around the country.

Take a look at the numbers below, gathered by Sikka Software from more than 12,500 dental practices across the United States. They tell how many the average number of adult patients per month are receiving fluoride treatments in a dental practice today and where those numbers have been since 2010.

Adult patients receiving fluoride treatment per month

  • 2010: 9.25
  • 2011: 9.08
  • 2012: 9.08
  • 2013: 6.51
  • 2014: 8.33
  • 2015: 9.42
  • 2016: 10.58

After hitting rock bottom in 2013, fluoride treatments for adults have been on the uptick. After setting a six-year high in 2015, the number went into double digits in 2016.

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How do those numbers compare for your practice, and how can you boost your numbers? Here are some thoughts.

Anastasia Turchetta, RDH, wrote an excellent article for Dental Economics on the subject of fluoride varnish acceptance by patients. You can click here to read that article. A key point in the article deals with communication with patients.

Hygienists are some of the greatest communicators out there today. You take the time to listen to your patients and really hear what they’re saying. That’s a huge benefit when it comes to knowing the patient’s health and how fluoride could benefit certain patients even more than others.

When you hear a patient “tip their hand” about their oral concerns, it’s a great way to introduce the conversation about fluoride. It’s also a conversation that will eventually lead to money.

The biggest obstacle you may have to overcome involves explaining to a patient why he or she should pay out of pocket for fluoride. Let’s face it. Your patients sometimes don’t make the wisest choices when it comes to their oral health. How are you explaining to them why fluoride is a more important spend than a dinner on the town or money they could spend at a baseball game?

You have to make it personal. You have to make it relatable to their own health. That proves that you’re not only listening, but that you also are doing everything you can to improve their oral health. You’re investing in their health. Why shouldn’t they do the same?

Here’s a sample script that could help you with your patients when it comes to fluoride:

Patient: “Will my insurance cover it?”

Office: “We don’t know how every insurance company will pay on this service. What we do know is that the most you will have out of pocket will be $35.” The $35 is your full fee for the fluoride treatment. Then, if insurance pays, you can send the patient a refund.

Try it and see how it works in your practice and with your patients.

Note: Want to learn more about what Sikka Software can do for your practice? Practice Mobilizer is the free app that lets you send HIPAA compliant video messages, track patient arrival times, provides zip code specific fee data and more. Click here.

An advocate of today’s dental assistant, Kevin Henry speaks to dental audiences across the nation on topics that empower dental assistants, helping them recognize the leadership role they hold in the practice. He is the co-founder of IgniteDA.net, a community designed to enlighten, empower, and educate dental assistants.


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