Your dental patients may not be aware of all of the services that you offer. Contrary to what some dentists believe, it is not unprofessional to let your patients know what cosmetic services you offer.
Generally, the average per-patient production is lower for existing patients than for new patients. This occurs because, over the years, you’ve diagnosed and treated the significant problems of long-term patients, and hopefully they’re working with you and the hygienist to help prevent new problems from arising.
However, if you haven’t been focused on cosmetic services, you might be passing up a considerable amount of untapped potential production with existing patients. This resource, combined with the growing consumer demand for esthetic improvements, can drive dramatic practice growth.
ALSO BY DR. ROGER LEVIN:
Three roadblocks to effective dental team training
6 steps toward superior dental 'customer' service
Dental patients keep appointments they truly value. But how to make that happen?
To encourage more of your patients, both existing and new, to improve their smiles with cosmetic dentistry, concentrate on these three areas:
1. Help patients visualize the esthetic improvements you can make—By its very nature, cosmetic treatment brings about changes patients can see. Bear in mind that, while you’re very familiar with the dramatic effects of whitening, bonding, veneers, and other ways to make smiles more beautiful, most patients are not. Use before-and-after photos, shade guides, videos and other visual aids, perhaps even cosmetic imaging software, to enable patients to appreciate how great they’ll look after treatment.
2. Reduce financial barriers—Cosmetic services are often not covered by insurance, so some patients who really want to improve their smiles hesitate to spend the money. For example, they may settle for a do-it-yourself approach to whitening to avoid paying for professional treatment. To prevent financial concerns from undermining acceptance, offer a broad range of payment options, including credit cards, cash-up-front discounts, and outside patient financing through a reputable company.
3. Raise awareness of your cosmetic services—Patients who have been coming to your practice for years may not know about all the services you offer, cosmetic or otherwise. Although you’ll acquaint them with non-cosmetic services should the need arise, you may never think to talk to them about services that are based purely on esthetics. You might even feel that it’s somehow unprofessional to do so. Just remind yourself that you’re not “selling” cosmetic services so much as presenting their benefits. Create a highly visual section about cosmetic dentistry on your practice website. Include photos, testimonials, and other attention-getting posts on your Facebook and other social media accounts. Encourage existing patients to refer people to for cosmetic services.
One of the most reliable strategies for growing practice production is to focus more resources and attention on cosmetic dentistry. By informing your patients about how you can improve their smile, letting them see what’s possible, making treatment more affordable, and keeping the subject top-of-mind, you’ll be helping your practice by helping them.
Spend 30 minutes on the phone with a dental management expert, free. Levin Group’s new 30-Minute Practice Assessment gives you the opportunity to discuss any business challenge you’re facing, at no charge. To schedule your assessment, call (888) 973-0000 or email [email protected].