Mastering The Business of Dentistry
Roger P. Levin, DDS
I am very excited to provide the latest installment of “Mastering the Business of Dentistry” in the Resnik Implant Institute newsletter. I have great respect for the educational importance of the Institute, and I sincerely hope that I will be able to contribute ideas on the business of dentistry and increase practice production that will benefit all students and alumni. My career as CEO of Levin Group began with one question I am still asking 39 years later – how do you increase production in a dental practice while reducing stress? Based on this critical question, I look forward to providing more practical recommendations that can be implemented quickly to benefit all your practices.
All the best, Roger
INCREASING PRACTICE PRODUCTION WITH IMPLANT DENTISTRY
Adding a new service is one of the top ways to increase practice production. Most readers of this newsletter are already involved in implant dentistry, but to what degree? After years of observing thousands of dental practices from a consulting standpoint, we have found that many dental services are highly underutilized. In a survey, dentists indicated that they are involved in implant dentistry but did not ask how many cases per year. Still, from what we know, the number of cases in which many practices participate is relatively low. This article will focus on increasing the number of implant cases provided each year to benefit the practice and patients.
START WITH THE CULTURE
The first step is to change the culture in the minds of the dentist and the team members. I believe dental implants are one of the finest ways to improve the quality of life of a dental patient with a specific need. All dentists should have this belief to become excited about implants, identify more cases, and help more patients. It is important for dentists to have an implant focus, and the best way to achieve this is to set a goal. Do you want to participate in 10 cases per year… 30…50…or more? Once there is a goal, it begins to galvanize and focus staff on identifying cases, educating patients, and increasing case acceptance. Next, get your team focused. They need to learn about dental implants, understand how they work, and be able to convey what the benefits are to a patient. There are many opportunities for conversing with patients at the front desk or with assistants or dental hygienists. This is why you must build a culture around implants within your team. It will provide the entire overview of conversations in which the team engages.
Every patient who comes to the practice should learn about dental implants. It is true that most patients will not need them, at least not now. However, patients have friends and family. An implant-educated patient helps to educate other potential patients. We have seen practices significantly increase the number of implant cases in which they participate annually when there is some type of education program for every patient, regardless of why they came to the office. Examples of implant education for patients can include reminders during each new patient phone call that the practice offers implant services, staff members chatting about dental implants while patients are in the practice, information on the website that is prominent, and positive reviews from implant patients. The more implants are talked about, the more patients become aware not only of themselves but also of others. Remember, many of your 45-year-old patients have older parents who may not have optimal dental health.
ENSURING PATIENT SATISFACTION
Following each implant case, there should be at least two follow-up contacts. One can be in the office to reinforce the benefit of the implant treatment. The other should be a phone call from the doctor to see how the patient is doing after treatment and if the patient is completely satisfied. I cannot overstress the benefit of this type of outreach. Patients find it so surprising and delightful that they become overly satisfied, communicate with others, and write positive reviews.
POSITIVE REVIEWS FOR IMPLANT DENTISTRY
After years of advising practices on the implementation of management systems, including how to generate positive reviews, we have documentation and data showing that the simple technique of engaging with patients by thanking them for being a patient, giving them a simple review card, and asking them to leave a review will generate hundreds of reviews in just a few short years. It is essential to ask every satisfied implant patient to write a review for the practice. Many implant patients are older, so you’ll want to give them a card with simple instructions on how to leave a review. Some elderly patients may not know how to leave reviews, but they are also loyal and committed, and if they say they will do it, they will do it. You can even highlight some of these reviews on the website. Reviews are a powerful way to create trust and confidence, help potential implant patients understand how dental implants can improve their quality of life, and show that there are many satisfied patients from this practice.
Dental implants are clinically superior, but they are also superior in increasing practice production. These recommendations and other strategies can allow a practice to increase production often without the involvement of dental insurance companies and lower reimbursements.
ROGER P. LEVIN, DDS Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the CEO and Founder of LevinGroup, a leading practice management consulting firm that has worked with over 30,000 practices to increase production. A recognized expert on dental practice management and marketing, he has written 67 books and over 4,000 articles and regularly presents seminars in the U.S. and around the world.
To contact Dr. Levin or to join the 30,000 dental professionals who receive his Practice Production Tip of the Day, visit www.levingroup.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.