At AMP, one of our primary roles is to identify areas of opportunity at dental practices. It's no secret that in most practices there is a lot of treatment that is recommended but goes undone. Sometimes, the amount of this is shocking. I have seen practices with literally millions of dollars of treatment that was recommended and never done.
But the word “treatment” can encompass many things. It could be an x-ray, a cleaning, or a crown. Or something bigger. I'll bet that your case acceptance rate on cleanings is pretty high. It's those bigger treatment plans that most often go undone. A dental implant is a good example of this. When a patient has a missing tooth and is asymptomatic, an implant just doesn't seem to be that important. Until the patient realizes the importance of replacing that missing tooth or teeth, he or she will be very price sensitive. And it's not comparing your fees to other dentists’… It's comparing your fee to items they want more, like that new flat-screen TV or iPhone.
One of my primary functions as a coach is to help doctors and their staff explain things better to help build value to the patient. We never recommend aggressive treatment plans or over-treating. We help you to better address those items that you normally would treatment plan. And we don't recommend a hard sell or special techniques and tricks to bully the patients. Instead, we work on honest narratives that the doctor can have with the patient to gain understanding, build value, and therefore increase case acceptance.
When a treatment plan consists of, for example, three fillings and a dental implant, it is common to hear the patient say “I'll do the three fillings, but I need to think about the implant.” Do you hear this a lot? To do more of the implants you recommend, we have to figure out how to get past this barrier.
If you need help with your narratives, please let me know. You might find that some simple changes can do two great things: help your patients return their mouths to a state of dental health, and help your business grow. Isn't it wonderful when you can do both at the same time? That is a true win-win situation.