A great smile is now in great demand, thanks in part to media advertising by large companies and the proliferation of makeover reality TV shows. As a result, the corresponding demand for cosmetic dentistry is also growing.
Today, dental practices are better able to combine basic needs-driven dental care with elective cosmetic enhancements to help patients achieve their desired smiles. So upgrading your cosmetic practice will boost your patients’ oral health and quality of life, while increasing your practice’s productivity and profitability too.
To perform more cosmetic dentistry, practices need to look at how they can enhance the entire case presentation process. When trying to develop this, I recommend using the following five techniques:
Block the time
Blocking time for cosmetic dentistry allows practices to schedule patients while they are still optimally motivated for their treatment.
But many offices do not allow enough time to schedule cosmetic procedures properly. This leads to practices constantly – and inefficiently – handling a higher volume of small cases to achieve production goals and doctor income. High volume is physically tiring for the dentist and their staff, and stressful because of the need to keep up with the schedule.
A smaller volume of patients with higher-level procedures being done provides for a calmer day that is less physically straining on the doctor and leads to greater cosmetic turnover. Scheduling in this manner also allows the practice to end everyday consistently on time – an excellent morale-booster for the dentist and staff alike.
Perform cosmetic examinations
Devote part of every new patient and hygiene exam to a cosmetic evaluation. New patients should be given some type of written information with details about their visit. Simply by placing the cosmetic evaluation on a new patient’s examination agenda, you have started the educational process with them. An examination, with a full explanation of the many benefits of cosmetic treatment, can increase your cosmetic turnover.
Enhance the atmosphere
The atmosphere of a cosmetic practice should be attractive and aesthetically pleasing. For example, fill it with posters of people with beautiful smiles. Make brochures explaining the different types of cosmetic procedures readily available. Give treatment coordinators handouts and visuals to share with patients. And use software to educate patients further about cosmetic procedures.
All of these can help patients appreciate the benefits of cosmetic dentistry. Once this happens, they can begin to see its value and will be more willing to invest in it.
Get team members involved
Your staff should talk to patients about cosmetic dentistry during every interaction. Providing scripts for staff to use during appointments will ensure team members deliver a consistent message about cosmetic dentistry. Even if a patient is not interested, they are likely to know other people who could benefit from these services.
Motivate and educate
Like plastic surgery, cosmetic dentistry offers an opportunity for patients to look and feel better. But for patients to want to invest in cosmetic dentistry, they must feel motivated and excited by it.
The best way to motivate patients is to educate them about the many benefits they will enjoy by completing the recommended treatment. The practice requires a dental team that is interested and excited about dental aesthetics. Patients notice this excitement and often become excited as well.
Cosmetic dentistry provides a wealth of opportunities for practice growth. The proper management of cosmetic case presentations and procedures can help practices achieve this growth.
A combination of patient education, communication and treatment planning can have a dramatic effect on building the cosmetic component of any practice.