Cosmetic Dentistry Boot Camp, Part 2

In last months issue of Best Cosmetic Dentistry Practices I introduced the Silverman Institute’s Cosmetic Dentistry Boot Camp program and how you can use some of the systems I teach in Boot Camp to transform your cosmetic practice in one day. However, one of the essential ingredients in accomplishing this goal is the ability to determine predictable results with less stress before you expand your cosmetic program. In Boot Camp I teach dentists exactly how to do that.

In last months issue of Best Cosmetic Dentistry Practices I introduced the Silverman Institute’s Cosmetic Dentistry Boot Camp program and how you can use some of the systems I teach in Boot Camp to transform your cosmetic practice in one day. However, one of the essential ingredients in accomplishing this goal is the ability to determine predictable results with less stress before you expand your cosmetic program. In Boot Camp I teach dentists exactly how to do that. In this issue of Best Cosmetic Dentistry Practices I am going to share with you how you too can expand your cosmetic practice, create beautiful smiles and determine the outcome with LifeLike Veneers™ - before you begin.

Elective cosmetic veneers

If you are up to the challenge of expanding your cosmetic dentistry practice in just one day then you are going to be surprised how easy this will be to do.  Best of all, you can actually expand your cosmetic practice without disturbing your existing day-to-day routine. Here’s how.

I recently conducted a Cosmetic Dentistry Boot Camp program for a very talented dentist who has an outstanding general dental practice and wanted to expand her cosmetic practice. Her name is Dr Mireya Ortega from Lake Tahoe, Calif. Dr Ortega has one of the most idyllic office settings.  I do not know if you have ever been to Lake Tahoe, but it is definitely one of the most beautiful areas in the United States.

When I first met Dr Ortega I asked her how many elective cosmetic veneer cases she had done in the past week.  While she provided many cosmetic restorative services to functionally restore teeth, her answer was that it had been more than six months since she had done an elective cosmetic veneer.

While that may seem like a long time, I have found that is the “new norm” for many dental practices.  You probably can relate to that.  Some dentists claim that it is due to the economic climate today.  If you feel that way too I am happy to share some good news with you.  Read on and you will be pleasantly surprised how you can change this, just as Dr Ortega did.

A few weeks prior to this I had done another Boot Camp program for another dentist who wanted to expand her cosmetic dental practice.  She, too, had not done any elective cosmetic veneers in over six months.  After evaluating both offices the reason why neither dentist had done any elective cosmetic veneers was apparent.  Fortunately this was correctable.

In Dr Ortega’s case she found the simplified Smile Preview techniques taught at Boot Camp to be very powerful and motivational.  She embraced the program and went from doing zero elective cosmetic veneers over the last six months to treatment planning over 52 LifeLike Veneers™ in just two weeks after the Boot Camp program.

Best of all Dr Ortega never had to sell a single veneer to any of her patients.  That is the promise I make to all of the dentists who qualify for Boot Camp (this is a selective program and thus, not everyone will qualify).  Intrigued by how you can expand your cosmetic dental practice too without selling?  Here’s how Dr Ortega did just that.

First I need to state that in my opinion Dr Ortega is a dentist of vision and realizes that knowledge is most valuable when it is translated into action steps. “It's like this, I have been looking at these patients and their dental imperfections and we have both been silent. The patients have not voiced their displeasure about their smiles and I had not asked, maybe assuming they were content.”  Dr Ortega’s comments probably reflect how you feel as well.

However, at Boot Camp Dr Ortega learned that assuming patients were content with their smile was not necessarily the best approach. Like most dentists, she did not feel comfortable addressing cosmetic concerns with patients they did not bring up on their own. At Boot Camp we shared with her how to obtain patient input regarding what patients wanted to change. This approach helped increase her comfort level as well as the teams’ comfort level discussing cosmetic dentistry. I have already shared some of these techniques with you in previous articles I have written in DPR over the past several months.

Dr Ortega’s positive attitude resulted in fine-tuning her approach with patients as it related to cosmetic dentistry. She already had an excellent chair-side manner and truly cared about her patients. I shared with her how simple it would be to combine the information from the personalized Smile Enhancement Form with the instant benefits she could demonstrate to her patients using the Silverman Institute’s 60 Second Smile Preview Technique. As Dr. Ortega wrote, “Most of the cases I have performed Smile Previews on were scheduled for hygiene recall…. The conversation just moved forward with LifeLike Veneers from there and the patient was amazed at their smile and what a difference something so simple made. Several then mentioned they have always wanted to change that tooth.” If you follow the lead of Dr. Ortega, you too can immediately expand your cosmetic dental practice even when you are seeing hygiene patients. However, it does require that you tweak your patient education program.  That is what Boot Camp helps you achieve. That is what I hope you can take away from reading these articles.

Tomorrow morning

Okay, so it’s time for you to be honest with yourself.  When was the last time you did an elective cosmetic veneer?  If you want to do at least one elective cosmetic veneer every day you can.  In Boot Camp I show dentists how easy it is to do just that – and without you or your team members ever selling cosmetic dentistry.  After Dr Ortega participated in Boot Camp, here is what she treatment planned in the first two weeks alone.

“The very first week I started off running and began using the Smile Preview and have treatment planed numerous LLV/Bleaching cases

Monday - patient M.C. two LLV, patient R.H. four LLV

Tuesday - patient D. H. three LLV

Wed - patient L.G. four LLV

Thursday - patient C.K. eleven LLV

Friday - N.K. nine LLV

Second week

Monday - child and ortho day

Tuesday - patient D.W. one LLV, patient S.C. six LLV

Wednesday - M.H. eight LLV

Thurs - at Incline office patient A.R. two LLV

Friday - patient J.S. two LLV

Thus in the last two weeks since your workshop I have done about ten Smile Previews and treatment planned about 52 LLV.”

This is what you can accomplish too if you are a positive thinker and set your goals high. Dale Carnegie once said that it is not knowledge that is important, it is the ability to convert knowledge into action that is most valuable. Dr Ortega implicitly understood the value of this statement.  Hopefully you will too.

The Silverman Institute’s Cosmetic Dentistry Boot Camp Program is based upon understanding what patients’ want, not necessarily what you believe they need. Once you obtain that “knowledge” you can share new techniques with your patients that can easily solve their problem. Remember - this is elective cosmetic dentistry and thus it requires a simple mind-set adjustment. Secondly you have to use technologies that provide outstanding cosmetic results in addition to fine-tuning your cosmetic skills. Needless to say I have a financial interest in the LifeLike Veneer™ System and there are indeed other non-invasive veneer systems that you can use. Finally, you need to surround yourself with a team that believes in your cosmetic dentistry skills and can sincerely share their enthusiasm about your cosmetic dentistry talents to help establish credibility from a patient perspective.

With that in mind, please email me and I will send you a copy of the Smile Enhancement Form dentists use at Boot Camp. This will help you determine what you patient’s want to have done to enhance their smile.  Here’s how you will use the form.  First have every team member fill out the form tomorrow morning, right after I send you the form. Caution: Do NOT change the form.  Other dentists have tried to do that and that does not work. The form works with the smile component “as is”. If you change the layout of the smile enhancement questions this system will not work. I know. I have tried. 

During Dr Ortega’s Cosmetic Dentistry Boot Camp program I had the entire team fill out the smile enhancement form at the beginning of the program. Why? Because I wanted the team to express their feelings about their smile in an unbiased manner and to establish how we often incorrectly believe cosmetic dentistry potential in our practice has been tapped out. That type of thinking is all wrong. You do not necessarily have to look outside your office to create a thriving cosmetic practice. You probably have many patients who still want to have a more self-confident smile in your own practice. That’s why the Boot Camp Program starts with evaluating and treating your team members – to clearly demonstrate that there is a plethora of cosmetic dentistry still to be done in your office. After Dr Ortega’s team members filled out the smile enhancement form we found out that every team member had at least one tooth they wanted to change the appearance of. Most had two or three teeth. Imagine if this is true with your patients of record. It just might be.

However, the Smile Enhancement Form is not a magic bullet by itself. I know that some dentists would like it to be but it is not. It is just one of many key elements you need to seamlessly integrate into an entire arsenal or professional, ethical marketing materials that we teach at Boot Camp.

60-second smile preview

In the April, 2011 issue of DPR’s Best Cosmetic Dentistry Practices I described a new way to demonstrate a true to life, realistic cosmetic transformation without using computer imaging.  While computer imaging has its role in dentistry, this new 60 Second Smile Preview is done directly on the teeth. I have found this technique to be a far more effective patient education tool than computer imaging. Your patients will also love it since they can watch how you can create an actual LifeLike Veneer™ and transform their smile in only 60 seconds. This continues to even amaze me – and I have been doing this for a very long time!

After reviewing the smile enhancement form filled out by one of the doctor’s team members I did a 60 Second Smile Preview on her teeth and literally in one minute she was super-charged about going ahead with work.

The goal of the 60 Second Smile Preview is just what the name says. It is not meant to be more than that.  However, it will show patients that if you have the skill set to make a dramatic transformation such as the above, imagine how beautiful the final result will be when you do the “real thing”. Therefore, don’t worry about being a perfectionist when doing a smile preview. Don’t drive yourself crazy – I designed this technique to take only 60 Seconds for a reason.   Remember – it’s fun, easy to do, allows you to determine if the patient will achieve good esthetic results and educates your patient about your cosmetic dentistry skill set, gentle touch, artistic capabilities regarding light reflections and illusions. It also allows your patient to know if she will like the outcome before you ever begin. These are all exciting developments to our patients.

As Dr. Ortega wrote to me after doing a Smile Preview on one of her patients, “she is very excited and can not wait to do something. This patient was so excited she asked for photos to show her husband.”

Putting it all together

Now here’s the part that will energize you when you work with your patients. Simply highlight any YES answers on the Smile Enhancement Form, let your patient know that you have “good news” for them as they might be a candidate to have non-invasive veneers done in just one day (watch their look of amazement when you tell them that) and then do a non-adhering 60 Second Smile Preview on their teeth to determine if they are a candidate. If your patient loves the result (they typically do) and they rate the Smile Preview an 8 out of 10 or higher, then they are a candidate – as long as their occlusion, periodontal health and other clinical findings do not contra-indicate the use of non-invasive LifeLike Veneers™.

If your Smile Preview takes more than 60 Seconds to do you may actually put off doing the procedure. Why? Because conventional Smile Previews take time, up to 30 or 45 minutes per tooth and you do not want to fall behind schedule. That is not helpful to you or your patients. Once again, Dr Ortega found the 60 Second Smile Preview to be very beneficial and easy to implement into her daily hygiene schedule. She summarized her feelings about Boot Camp and our ability to expand her cosmetic practice in one day as follows: “Thank you again for helping me to see and not just look.”

Expanding your cosmetic dentistry services should be a seamless, stress-free experience. Our No Selling Marketing, seamless cosmetic dentistry management systems and simplified technique skills were developed to accomplish these goals for you during our Boot Camp program. I hope that some of the techniques that I am sharing with you from Boot Camp in these articles are helpful to you in accomplishing your goal. Give them a try and your patients will forever be your best ambassadors.

Please feel free to contact me if I can help you jump-start your cosmetic practice or take your cosmetic practice to the next level. As always, if you want to achieve excellence in your technical skills or fine-tune your marketing / management systems for cosmetic dentistry, let me know and I will be happy to let you know if you are a candidate for our One Day Boot Camp transformation program. 

I do have one final suggestion that I want to share – you probably are very busy and you plan on implementing some of the suggestions I have shared throughout the Best Cosmetic Dentistry Practice series – but I would like to caution you not to procrastinate. Go ahead and jump-start your cosmetic dentistry practice tomorrow with simple cases that you can find every day in your hygiene practice - and you will discover that you can indeed change your patients’ life by having more self-confidence when they smile. Cheers! I wish you all the best.  

About the author

Dr. Harvey Silverman has been successfully coaching dentists on how to expand their cosmetic dentistry practice since 1984. If you want to take your cosmetic practice to the next level or want more information about the Silverman Institute’s 24 Hour Cosmetic Transformation Program, please contact Dr. Silverman at 216-256-4599 or e-mail him directly at incrediblesmiles@aol.com. Dr Silverman will tailor his No Selling cosmetic dentistry program to your office and personal philosophy.