Eight simple techniques to creating a thriving cosmetic practice

Cosmetic dentistry is one of the few services the dental profession has to offer that is “want” based. You may have heard the expression, “people buy what they want and rationalize it as what they need.” But dentists and team members do not like to sell. The good news is you don’t have to.

Cosmetic dentistry is one of the few services the dental profession has to offer that is “want” based. You may have heard the expression, “people buy what they want and rationalize it as what they need.” But dentists and team members do not like to sell. The good news is you don’t have to. Use the following Zero Pressure Techniques developed over a 25 year period by The Silverman Institute of Cosmetic Dentistry and you’ll see an immediate increase in patient receptivity for your cosmetic services.

1. Find out what patients want. This isn’t difficult. Have every new patient of record, as well as recall patients, fill out a well-developed smile analysis form that elicits what changes patients want.

2. Don’t just educate, POWER educate. What does this mean? Beyond showing before and after photos, displaying posters, distributing brochures or showing in-office DVDs on cosmetic dentistry, go the extra yard. Describe the benefits of each service to your patients. Share testimonials and talk about what cosmetic dentistry did for each patient’s self-confidence and self-image. Let the patient know you take pride in the doctor’s artistic skill, how natural the teeth look and how comfortable it is to have the procedure done. Power educating creates meaning and significance to the information you are sharing.

3. Get your team excited. On a scale of one to 10, how would you rate your team’s sincerity when discussing cosmetic dentistry? If any of your team members lack sincerity, don’t expect your patients to become enthusiastic. How do you help your team members become more sincere?  Have a team meeting and have each team member fill out a written smile analysis form. Find out what changes they might want to make in their own smile. Next, do the appropriate cosmetic service complimentary for each team member. Take before and after pictures. Watch as team members share enthusiasm with your patients as they personally experience the service themselves.

4. Don’t advertise for cosmetic dentistry if you don’t want to. Trust me, you have more than enough latent demand in your own practice. Start by informing, educating and motivating each patient about the new, exciting technologies available today that can enhance their smile.

5. Offer alternatives to porcelain veneers. Not everyone needs or can afford porcelain veneers. Sure they are a great service for our patients, but composites have evolved. Don’t price yourself out of the market because you are only providing a single focused approach to cosmetic dentistry with porcelain veneers.

6. Combine tooth whitening with veneers for affordable options. Some patients look fantastic with two or four anterior veneers supplemented with in-office whitening.

7. Consider “phase treatment.” Don’t overwhelm patients with a large treatment plan. Find out what their chief complaint is and take care of that ASAP. That might only require one or two composite or porcelain veneers today. Let your patients know you can correct other subtle or obvious problems down the road. A half a loaf is better for your patient than no loaf at all.

8. What’s your plan? The best intentions often don’t get implemented. Translate knowledge you have learned from CE courses (and this article) into “action” steps. Take this plan and eat, drink and sleep it for 30 days. In just one month it will become an old habit that you naturally integrate into your daily routine.

Still need to be convinced why you need to have a plan? Do the math and calculate how many patients are presently proceeding with elective cosmetic services on a daily basis. If you have a well designed plan you should do at least $350,000 in additional revenue per year.

Don’t sit on the fence watching the parade go by. Get a plan, get it going and have fun helping your patients have the dazzling smile they always wanted.

Want to know what your cosmetic dentistry practice potential is?

Contact Dr. Harvey Silverman at the Silverman Institute of Cosmetic Dentistry at 216-256-4599 or incrediblesmiles@aol.com, and he’ll do the math with you.