10-Minute tips to build your cosmetic dentistry practice

Over the course of the next several months, Dr. Harvey Silverman, the dentist behind The Same Day Smile Makeover Web Series, will provide short tips to help you expand your cosmetic dentistry practice in this 'New Year, New You' Cosmetic Dentistry Web Series. Here's the first tip: How to financially pre-qualify your patients based on budget concerns and cosmetic dentistry needs.

Over the course of the next several months, Dr. Harvey Silverman, the dentist behind The Same Day Smile Makeover Web Series, will provide short tips to help you expand your cosmetic dentistry practice in this 'New Year, New You' Cosmetic Dentistry Web Series.

Here's the first tip: How to financially pre-qualify your patients based on budget concerns and cosmetic dentistry needs.

In this new web series, I will be sharing tips every week that build your cosmetic practice.

You are busy; therefore, each tip is designed to be read in 10 minutes. To get the most out of this series, consider me to be your cosmetic dentistry coach. Check back each week for a new tip. Post your questions in the comments section of this article.

Tip 1

Here’s the scenario: You did a cosmetic dentistry case presentation. You have a motivated patient who is excited about having work done. He wants to proceed with veneers. He asks what it will cost. Once you state the fee, your patient’s enthusiasm suddenly wanes and he says,  “Let me think about it.” 

For many dentists this is a familiar scenario.

All too often this means the patient will probably not go through with the cosmetic dentistry treatment. However, this does not have to be the case if you understand the forces at work behind your patient’s comment.

The issue boils down to affordability. Even with patient finance programs, spending $5,000 to $10,000 may exceed what your patient feels he or she can afford.

I coach dentists to use a system called EasySmile® that expands your cosmetic practice and eliminates fees from being a roadblock.

Here’s how to do that: First, designate a team member as your Smile Care Advocate™ (SCA). The SCA is the team member most excited about cosmetic dentistry. The SCA advocates for the patient, sharing what the patient wants with other team members before you see the patient.

Another function of the SCA is to pre-qualify financial concerns. Most patients have a budget. When your fee exceeds that budget patients are hesitant. Therefore, the SCA needs to find out what your patient is hoping to invest. Once you discover this expectation, create a plan that provides optimum results at a fee that matches the patient's comfort level. Remember this is an elective service and patients have options.

Keep in mind that pre-qualifying is not diagnosing. In later articles I will describe other forms of pre-qualifying. In this context, financial pre-qualifying will help you tailor a treatment plan that solves the patient's cosmetic needs and budget concerns.

Coaching Tip: When finances are an issue consider combining in-office whitening with one or two in-office veneers.

I have coached dentists who had done zero elective veneers in the past 6 months. By using this suggestion, these same dentists have increased their elective veneers cases up to 52 in two weeks.

Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If you want to do more cosmetic dentistry, evaluate and modify your cosmetic presentation.