This month, Manrina Rhode discusses how to build your cosmetic dentistry businesses and the problems you may need to overcome.
A recent study was conducted about how 85% of people are unhappy with certain aspects of their smile and the way their smile looked. So, the likelihood is that 85% of your patients want cosmetic dental work, and they’re not talking to you about it if they don’t see you, as a cosmetic dentist.
My practice is limited to aesthetic dentistry. Patients come to see me to make their smiles look better. They’ve all got their own dentist somewhere, but they come to me for their cosmetic work. And that could well be work that you could be doing – they’re just not aware that it’s something that you can do.
So, the first thing to do is to start making your patients aware.
If you go on a course, you could make them aware by sending out a newsletter to let them all know about what you’ve just learned and the treatments that you’re offering.
If you’ve not just been on a course but you do these things anyway, if you offer any type of orthodontics, clear, aligner treatment, facial aesthetics, teeth whitening, then you can make newsletters part of your repertoire and let your patients know about them.
Now, obviously GDPR is really important – they need to sign on to agree to receive newsletters. So, make sure you ask them if they’re happy to receive your newsletters, and if they are then let them know about the treatments that you’re offering. Let them know about the treatments that you want to be doing.
You’ll be surprised by how many of them will come back saying, ‘oh, I didn’t know you did that’, and, ‘yeah, I’d love to consider that and find out more about it’.
You could also have posters up in your waiting room, or if that’s not something that people do as much these days, you’ve probably got a TV screen in your waiting room where most companies will have promotional videos that you can use to promote what you’re doing. While patients are waiting for you in the waiting room, they’ve got time to sit there and look at the screen.
There are also leaflets that are available. We want to look after the environment and recycle wherever we can, but you can put physical leaflets out in your waiting room as well, to let your patients know.
I think the single most important bit of advice I’m going to give you about building your business is, when a patient comes to us every six months or annually for their checkups, you could have either a physical form or an online form to ask them if they’re interested in specific cosmetic dental treatments.
You could ask something like are you happy with the colour of your teeth? Are you happy with with the position of your teeth? Would you like to straighten your teeth? Are you happy with the appearance of your smile? All of these are leading questions. And if they say that they’re not happy, when they come in for their checkup, before they even come in, they’re interested in cosmetic dental treatments.
Then, this is something that you could briefly start talking about in your checkup. And if you don’t have time, it’s something you can bring them back and talk to them about in more detail.
What problems might you have that you need to overcome when you start building up this business?
Firstly, it’s letting your patients know that you’re offering these treatments. I’ve just outlined how to overcome that for you.
The other main one is getting your team on board. So, if you’re in your room talking to your your patients about treatments and then your patient’s going out to reception and the receptionist is saying, ‘oh, that’s expensive’, or ‘teeth whitening is really sensitive’, then your team is not on board. And they’re not going to be selling your treatments for you.
So, if it’s a change you want to make in your clinic, make sure that everyone understands the change you’re trying to make. You could have a practice meeting about it and explain to the team about what it is that you’re trying to do. Make sure you’re all singing from the same hymn sheet.
I hope that helped and good luck in building up your cosmetic dentistry business. It’s such a satisfying way to practice, and such a satisfying thing to do every day – helping people smile with confidence.
Catch up with previous Aesthetic Dentistry Expert columns:
- Keeping your ceramicist in the loop
- Tooth whitening – how white is too white?
- How to treat gummy smiles
- Treating black triangles
- The bright side of whitening.
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Visit Manrina’s website here: www.drmrlondon.co.uk.