12.4.15 Issue #717 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Why Patients Arenít Accepting Implant Treatment
By Sally McKenzie, CEO

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Patients are becoming more and more interested in dental implants. They’ve heard about the benefits of this treatment option, and are intrigued by what implants can do for their smile and their confidence.

The truth is, today’s patients don’t want to settle for the dental appliances their parents had; they want an esthetic, comfortable option that looks and acts like natural teeth. That’s what implants provide, making them the perfect alternative to partial dentures.

You know the interest is there, so you’re probably wondering why you’re not performing more implant cases in your practice. My guess? Like most dentists, you’re likely making assumptions about what your patients can afford and not even offering implants as an option. You don’t talk it up, so patients don’t even know you offer implants. Well doctor, it’s time for that to change, and for you to start using dental implants to grow your practice and your profits.

Here’s a look at the benefits implants can bring your practice, and how you can start increasing the number of implants you place each year.

The Benefits
Once you’re prepared to deliver implants, this new service can bring significant financial gains. Not convinced? Let me break down the numbers. Say your practice seats maxillary partial dentures on 38 patients a year for an average cost of $1,754. That’s $66,652 in revenue. If you offered those patients dental implants as an option for $5,850 and half of them accepted, that would yield $111,150 – an increase of $44,498 in revenue.

But implants don’t just offer benefits to your practice; they’re also a great option for your patients. A partial simply doesn’t address long-term mouth health and function. It can’t simulate the patient’s original tooth, but an implant can. Implants are often the best treatment option, and one you should discuss with every patient who’s a candidate.

Why You’re Not Performing More Implant Cases
Many dentists assume their patients simply can’t afford implants. Yes, implants are expensive and the price tag may very well keep some patients from moving forward with treatment – but it won’t deter every patient.

You can’t make assumptions about your patients. It’s your job to present them with the best treatment options, and to go over the pros and cons of all those options. Walk your patients through the various scenarios and help them make educated decisions about their dental health, rather than only giving them the options you think they can afford.

To help relieve some of the financial burden, consider offering patients third party financing from a company like CareCredit. If patients know they can make small payments toward their implants rather than writing one large check, they’ll be much more comfortable going forward with treatment.

Bottom line, talk with your patients about all their options, including implants. Dental implants can truly change your patients’ lives, enabling them to eat without pain and once again giving them confidence in their smile.

Provide Education
If you want to increase the number of implant cases you perform, spend time educating your team about implants and the benefits they provide patients. Get them excited about this treatment option. Team members should be able to speak with patients about implants and answer the many questions that come up. To help, prepare a list of frequently asked questions your team members can refer to when needed.

Once your team members are educated about implant dentistry, they can pass this education on to your patients. Be sure they keep the message consistent, and that they can tell patients about your experience with implants and the success you’ve had since adding implants to your list of services.

I also suggest more subtle forms of education, such as hanging an 8x10 frame promoting implants in your reception area, and 11x17 frames in every treatment room, as well as adding implant information to your website and social-media forums. Type a bulleted list of questions and answers about dental implants in large font your patients can see while sitting in the chair or waiting for their appointment. Here are a few examples of questions you can use from the American Academy of Implant Dentistry:

What are dental implants?
Dental implants are substitutes for the roots of missing teeth. They act as an anchor for a replacement tooth or crown or a set of replacement teeth.

Am I a candidate for implants?
Implant patients are of all ages and implants may be the right choice for anyone missing one or more teeth due to injury, disease or decay. They are especially practical for patients who prefer an option other than removable dentures or partials. A credentialed implant dentist can determine if you are a candidate for dental implants after a careful evaluation of your dental and medical history.

Grow your Practice with Implants
Offering implants can help boost your bottom line, and is a great option for patients who are missing teeth for any reason. If you want to increase the number of implant cases you perform in your practice, focus on education and never assume patients will say no just because implants are an expensive treatment option. Help them see it as an investment in their health, and you’ll soon notice the number of implant cases you perform begin to increase.

Next week, 7 ways to improve implant case presentation in your practice. 

For additional information on this topic and more, visit my blog: The Lighter Side

Interested in speaking to me about your practice concerns? Email sallymck@mckenziemgmt.com
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