How to help your patients say ‘yes’ to treatment

How to help your patients say ‘yes’ to treatment

Medenta’s Shelley Clegg suggests ways to develop your relationships with your patients so you can increase your uptake of treatment and revenue.

Although the welfare of patients is always a dentist’s primary concern, a practice is also a business so it’s important to find ways to increase revenue. Rather than spending time and effort on attracting new business, why not consider increasing the revenue you get from your existing patients.

Here are just a few ways to maximise income from your regular patients.

Check and check again

Routine check-up appointments are the perfect time to introduce a conversation about treatment plans, but the chance often gets missed. There is a lot of truth in the saying ‘you don’t ask, you don’t get’ and a check up is a golden opportunity to ask a patient about how they feel about their smile and their oral health. It may be that all is fine, and they are happy.

However, it could just as easily be the case that they have been recently wondering about whitening or having some work done to straighten their teeth.

Asking them a few questions about how they feel about their teeth gives the patient a chance to have an informal chat about various treatment options. It can be a big mistake to work on the assumption that they would raise the subject themselves if they wanted something done.

Patients, conscious of the fact that you have others to see, may feel reluctant to take up your time by asking about potential treatments. They may also expect you to be the one to make suggestions about treatment options.

Change over time

As well as demonstrating you’re interested in them, asking them the question also presents an opportunity to let them know about the types of treatment you can offer at your surgery. There’s nothing more galling than a patient seeking a treatment elsewhere that you could have offered them yourself. Especially if it is simply because they weren’t aware you could have helped them.

For patients new to the practice, it can be worthwhile having a set of questions to ask about how they are feeling about their dental health/their smile, etc. which can then provide a springboard for further discussion about treatment options.

This could be done face-to-face or as a questionnaire they complete in the waiting room, and it could also be something you do periodically for existing patients as their needs/wants may change over time.

Plus, if you’re a Medenta customer, you can access this type of questionnaire for free. Ask your business development manager for information.

Offer different ways to pay

We are working in unusual circumstances at the moment. Although the demand for cosmetic dentistry skyrocketed during the pandemic, the extreme squeeze on household incomes could make people nervous about spending several thousands of pounds on their teeth. This could mean that cost can sometimes be a barrier to patient uptake.

One way to overcome this obstacle is to offer patient finance, which will allow them to spread the cost over several months. Breaking the costs down into monthly payments can make things seem less daunting and more manageable.

The prospect of having to part with a lump sum to cover their treatment may be too scary for some people. However, interest free credit spread over a longer period can help to make covering the cost seem more achievable.

Overcome your embarrassment

Talking about money can make people feel awkward or embarrassed. It’s something we, in the UK especially, just don’t do.

However, if patient finance is included as an essential step in your patient journey. If it is part and parcel of your treatment plans, then it simply becomes just another discussion topic and more acceptable. Patients understand that enhancing their smile is not something they can have for free. It will need to be paid for.

A useful tactic might be to discuss patient finance early in the conversation when different treatment options are being discussed, rather than at the end.

This will give those who might initially have dismissed it as being too costl a chance to understand that there is a way for them to go ahead. It will also help them to view the treatment plan in a more positive light.

It’s also helpful to include any finance options you offer on any marketing materials you have. This means both in your reception, or outside the practice, and provides details on treatments such as teeth whitening or straightening.

Open doors

That informs anyone who might be thinking about taking up one of these treatments that they have the ability to spread the cost.

This extra information could show them that a treatment they had dismissed because of cost may be achievable. It could encourage them to enquire about taking it up.

Patient finance doesn’t just help increase the take up of single treatments. It can also enable patients to go for a more comprehensive package of treatment or combine ones that they could not otherwise afford.

It could open doors to them that they may previously have believed to be closed. This may just be what helps them finally decide to say ‘yes’.

Medenta offers some of the lowest subsidy rates in the market. It is one of the few providers of finance solutions to also offer a comprehensive support service. For more information call 01691 684175 or visit

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