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6 strategies to grow your practice's production in cosmetic dentistry


photo of a woman laughing

Now that the general economic recovery has traction, promoting cosmetic services makes more sense than ever. However, to take advantage of this opportunity, you must recognize that motivating patients to accept treatment they want, rather than need, calls for a very different approach.

When presenting need-based treatment to patients, you may have to explain why they should consent to having work done at your practice - and patients may hesitate to commit, for reasons that are not always obvious - but the presentation will tend to be straightforward.

Acceptance of want-based options, on the other hand, is primarily an emotional decision. It will be made on the basis not only of how patients will look but also how they’ll feel about how they look. When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, aesthetics matter most, and benefits persuade in ways that clinical details won’t. Patients can:

Stop hiding their smile

Look their best at job interviews

Stand out in the crowd

Look younger than their years

There are many other emotionally driven reasons to accept cosmetic treatment. Understand this - and speak to it in your marketing and consults - and you will be able to increase cosmetic production dramatically.

Specific strategies for cosmetic growth

Consider adding new cosmetic services. If your practice has not been emphasizing this area of dentistry, you probably need to do some homework so you can begin offering a broader, more appealing range of cosmetic services. Watch for new products and training opportunities that can expand your capabilities.

Acquaint all patients with all cosmetic services available. You don’t have to “sell” them to everyone just let everyone know about them. In reception and treatment areas, display attractive posters and other materials - especially with before-and-after images - to pique patients’ interest. This way, candidates will often pre-sell themselves and can also mention your services to people they know who aren’t even your patients yet.

Develop special case presentation techniques just for cosmetic services. Use benefit-oriented scripts and dramatic visual aids to strike the right emotional chords in patients. Keep these consults light and enthusiastic, and be prepared to hear an initial “maybe someday” from patients. You and the hygienist can follow up without pressure during future visits.

Offer payment options. Many patients who want a cosmetic service may hold back due to cost - and may be hesitant to say so. Communicate the affordability of cosmetic treatment by pointing out that the practice offers a range of methods for taking care of the fee.

Use whitening treatment to promote patient referrals. Point out to patients that you welcome new patients who are only looking for cosmetic treatment and offer your current patient a free whitening treatment as a “thank you” for a successful referral.

Create a cosmetic dentistry section on your website. Images of cosmetic transformations will convey a very positive impression in the minds of anyone who visits your website including those not currently thinking about improving their smiles.

Even in our new, more challenging dental economy, cosmetic dentistry has tremendous potential. Use it as one tool to drive growth in your practice.

Author’s Note: Call (888) 973-0000 to schedule your 1-Hour No-Cost Practice Diagnosis a powerful phone call with a Certified Practice Analyst, to assess and improve practice production, only from Levin Group.

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