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Offering savings, value, and convenience for your dental patients via an online products store

Feb. 27, 2019
Dental practices may want to think outside of the box when it comes to impressing their patients. One way to do this is to offer an online products store on their website.
It seems like everyone wants savings, value, and convenience when choosing their products and services. You reap savings in gas and time when you have products delivered to your door. You get value because you know the brand and trust that your delivery will arrive on time and in good shape. You enjoy convenience because you choose what you want from a website and you don’t have to drive, park, grab a cart, weave through people, and walk for what seems like miles to get everything you need.

Dentists and their staff members are always looking for ways to attract and retain patients. What makes patients come back to the office? Can the loss of patients be stopped? If so, what is the secret? Think outside of the box for a moment. Last night I asked my husband, “What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of your dentist?” He said pain, and frankly, I was thinking the same thing.

Why is that the case when we in the dental industry do so much more than inflict pain? Statistics show that most people don’t think about their dentists unless they have a problem, so they make an appointment. Putting dentistry in a more positive light and connecting to patients in other ways might help change their mindsets.

Let’s look at oral hygiene products from the standpoint of connecting to the dental practice. I use nine products: electric brush, replacement heads, manual brush, floss, picks, dry mouth rinse, bleaching products, toothpaste, and a scaler. I buy them from various locations, both in-store and online. This is not convenient, and I often wonder if there is a better way.

When I read the Product Navigator,, I learn about products that I’ve never heard of and would really like to use, but they aren’t in a typical store and my dentist never mentions them.

What if I had a customized shopping list for my particular dental concerns recommended by my dentist, with access to the brands I like, but also with access to new products specific to my needs, all from one trusted source?

Take this a step further, and what if I could get all my custom dental products from my dentist? I know, some practices sell a few products, but keeping track of the inventory and patient requests and returns is a lot of work for the staff, and there are problems with sales tax, etc.

I decided to do some investigating to see if there was a service that could help dentists build relationships with their patients, other than through the negative motivator of pain. In my search, I found a large dental group practice that offers an online store of its own, but it’s only available to their patients. I also found several sites geared to dental practices, and I was looking for a patient-centered site.

A surprising discovery

What I found, and I have to admit I was happily surprised to find, is is a comprehensive, cloud-based e-commerce service that enables dental practices of all sizes to build and operate online stores for their patients. It is turnkey for the practice because does it all. This eliminates the hassle of carrying inventory, and dentists can pick and choose what they want in their store at any time. There’s no investing and carrying inventory or selling from the practice.

The website was simple to navigate and easy for patients to access and understand. I took this a step further and called the president of the company, Tom Comerota, and spoke to him about how this service can help dentists and their patients. He is deeply passionate about offering a way for dentists to “engage patients through open conversations about the best products customized to their unique dental issues.” This creates a “higher frequency” of communication that doesn’t start and stop at the dental visit.

If the dentist and team create a custom care checklist for patients, this helps patients home in on their health issues and create a long-term relationship with the practice. Many products are available that consumers don’t know about, and recommending these niche and specialty products can create a bond between practice and patient.

Offering savings, value, and convenience to your patients via a dental store on your website is a way to show them how much you care. With a dental store, you can offer products and services geared to your practice to your patients 24/7. This makes you reachable and accessible to patients any time of day or night, so they can purchase the services and products they want now.

Belle DuCharme, RDA, CDPMA, is a seasoned dental clinical and management professional, as well as a devoted writer, speaker, and instructor for the dental profession. She is a senior writer and contributor to eAssist training programs for the last five years, as well as a seminar presenter, blogger, newsletter editor, and author of numerous articles for eAssist Dental Solutions. She’s been a senior instructor and writer for McKenzie Management for 15 years, as well as a writer for many other management publications. As a Dental Training Consultant for McKenzie Management, Belle traveled the US and Canada training doctors and their teams in best practice management systems. Contact her at [email protected], or (760) 805-6555.
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