5 Steps to increase cosmetic dentistry awareness among patients

Issue 10

There are untapped cosmetic dentistry opportunities waiting for you in your practice. Here’s how you can instantly increase patient awareness of your cosmetic dentistry services… starting as soon as tomorrow!

There are untapped cosmetic dentistry opportunities waiting for you in your practice. Here’s how you can instantly increase patient awareness of your cosmetic dentistry services… starting as soon as tomorrow!

Do you enjoy doing cosmetic dentistry? How often has a patient thanked you for giving them the smile he or she always wanted? What a rewarding feeling that is!

The dental profession has embraced cosmetic dentistry because it has proven to be a simple, yet sensible solution to providing patients with more self-confidence when they smile. 

Ten to 15 years ago, nearly every dentist positioned himself or herself as a “cosmetic dentist” in his or her marketing efforts. Unfortunately, that has created an issue for many patients. While any dentist can do cosmetic dentistry, sadly, not every dentist is skilled in the art and science of cosmetic dentistry. 

Here are ways you can distinguish yourself as a cosmetic dentist and power educate patients about the outstanding services you can provide them.

1. How do you know what your patient’s cosmetic dentistry needs are? In other words, how do you determine what your patient does or does not like about his or her smile?

This can be a potentially awkward topic to bring up if your patient responded “no” to your health history form question: “Do you like your smile – Yes or No – and if no, please explain why.”

If your health history form includes the above question, change your form immediately. Instead, switch to a form that provides more input about whether your patient likes the size, shape, color, appearance, and positioning of his or her teeth.

This will open up a dialogue between you and your patients as you gather more information about what they would like to improve about their smiles. 

2. How is your dental assistant’s smile? You can also include your receptionist, office manager, hygienist and other team members in that query.

The key point here is that your patients are looking at the smiles of your staff members. If any team member on your staff has some cosmetic dentistry needs, do it for them – complimentary of course.

How do you know if any of your team members have cosmetic needs? Have them fill out the same smile enhancement form as your patients and find out what they might like to have transformed. 

3. Are you offering and staying current with advances in non-invasive cosmetic dentistry services?

One objection that patients have when it comes to cosmetic dentistry is often: “My teeth are healthy. I just do not like the way they look, but I do not want to destroy my healthy teeth just to make them look nicer.”

We can all understand that concern. That is not meant to challenge your philosophy of doing preps when placing veneers. However, it is meant to encourage you to stay current on new advances in non-invasive veneers that provide outstanding clinical results while also maintaining an excellent emergence profile. 

Continue to take courses and learn how recent advances in technology and materials can help solve your patient’s esthetic problems.

4. Where do you keep your smile transformation album? Is it collecting dust under a stack of magazines in your reception area? Is it hidden behind papers in your treatment room? That’s where I have often found these albums when I consult in general dental offices. Have your team members place your smile transformation album in a clearly visible location where patients have easy access to viewing it.  The smile transformation album can be a powerful educational and motivational tool.

Tip: Don’t forget to include your team's before and after photos in the album.

5. Do you feel that all the patients in your practice who were interested in cosmetic dentistry already had it done?

If your answer is yes, you are not alone. The good news is this is not the case. I have consulted in dental offices that feared that anyone interested in cosmetic dentistry already had it done. I was able to prove them wrong each and every time.

To overcome this concern, let’s start by changing your mindset. Instead of prejudging what your patients want or do not want to have done, let’s go back to tip #1 and give your patients an opportunity to share how they feel about their smile. Have every new and recall patient fill out a well-designed smile enhancement form. You will be surprised by their responses.

Dr. Harvey Silverman is the founder of the Silverman Institute of Cosmetic Dentistry - offering on-site consultations, regional seminars and a Cosmetic Dentistry Boot Camp to take your cosmetic practice to the next level using highly advanced, simplified technical skills combined with team friendly patient education systems. Dr. Silverman can be reached at incrediblesmiles@aol.com or contact him directly at 216-256-4599.



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