Welcome

to Dental Practice Solutions

Welcome to dentistry’s largest dental hygiene practice management resource center! We are the leading dental hygiene consultant/coaching business.

We will increase your TOTAL dental practice profitability without working more hours or days each year.

- Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS, Speaker, Author. Dental Hygiene Coach & Consultant

Dental Practice Solutions - Debbie Bittke

Here Today Gone Tomorrow

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

February 22, 2010

What protocols are in place to answer a call from a new patient?

What is the overall experience you want your new patient to have?

When do you have time in your schedule to accommodate the new patient? Do they need to wait 3 or 4 weeks to be seen?

Are you creating both a welcoming and positive experience for new patients from the first call they place to your office to the moment they complete their first visit?

Are you paying attention to the details or just going through the motions of the new patient routine?

If you’ve had your share of “new but never to be seen again patients” it’s probably time to dust off the “rules” for encouraging and welcoming new patients into your practice.

Schedule time for important people in your life: New patients are calling because they want your services now, not next month.. Absolutely the worst message you can give anyone who calls your practice – new or existing patients – is that you don’t have time for them. There are currently dental practices today that tell prospective patients that they will have to wait three weeks to even six months for an appointment. This is an insult to the caller. This is telling the patient you are not really looking forward to seeing them. If you have a potential first date; you make time to meet that important person. Your future husband or wife. It is the same thing with a new patient.

Avoid the backlog blunder. Determine how much time you need to allocate in the schedule to accommodate new patients. Look at the new patient activity in your schedule over the last six months. If you saw 150 new patients, that would be 25 per month or approximately 6 per week. Reserve at least that much time in your schedule to handle your immediate new patient demand.

New patient appointment need to be reserved during prime time. These are the hours in which your practice experiences the greatest demand for appointments. These may possibly be early morning or late afternoons. If you have Saturday appointments this is a good day to have new patients on your schedule.

Great Expectation for your new patients. From the first phone call to your practice new patients are judging the professionalism of the doctor and the their team. Patients expect to be treated with respect and professionalism. They expect their concerns and needs to be addressed expeditiously. They expect doctor and the team to offer the perfect balance of control and flexibility. They expect the quality of the doctor to be reflected in the quality of his or her team. First impressions do make the difference.

What is it that you want to be known for? This is the time it is important the new patient gets the feel for your specific brand. This is the one time you want them to know what you are all about. When the phone is answered your name is on the line. Now is the important time. It is the time when how the new patient feels about the doctor, the team, and the overall experience will determine if there dedication as a patient. It is what makes or breaks them.

The new patient along side your team are what will make your dental practice successful. This is where you want to invest your personal time and make a winning situation.

Less Equal’s More

By: admin

February 15, 2010

Case in point:

Dr. Patterson is a client of Dental Practice Solutions and he has experienced a significant growth in his profits since January 2009.

At the same time, due to the economic climate the office became stagnant in its new patient numbers. During the last 9 months of 2008 he began to see a decline in his production as well as his new patient numbers. He took action and asked a dental expert why this might be happening.

Dr. Patterson’s practice statistics prior to January 2009:

  • Averaged $100,000/mo in collections
  • Doctor producing $5,900/day in gross production
  • 2 Hygienists who together average $2,200/day with an assistant
  • Averaged 25 New Patients per month
  • Collections 95% of production

Improved systems and training during the first six months of 2009:

  • Average Monthly Collections increased 34% to $134,000.00
  • Doctor’s daily average increased 7% to $6,300.00/day
  • The 2 hygienists now exceeded their new goal of $1,600 per day each for a total production of $3,200.00 for 2 RDH’s each day.
  • New patients increased to 30/month
  • Office is now collecting 105% of the production; including past due collections from 2008

Many of you are reading this and wondering why Dr. Patterson wanted to ask for our guidance. You are thinking “what is the problem?” He is the type of person who you may hear people call an “over achiever”. He is always looking to improve whatever he does in life. So with his open mind let’s take a closer look here at what this did for his dental business:

  • Collections are up 10%
  • Doctor’s daily average increased
  • Hygienists experienced a 45% increase in daily production
  • New patients are up
  • The team at the front desk is now collecting 105%.

How did this happen?

During Dr. Patterson’s time spend with our coaching he gained knowledge about improving the treatment recommendations to patients. He learned how to add value to his existing patient base. Systems were put in place for a seamless day and harmonious team. As a result, 95% of all new patients as well as the large majority of hygiene patients now respond “yes” to treatment. These are a few of the added tools which increased production and collections significantly. As patients returned for their subsequent professional hygiene appointments there was no additional treatment diagnosed. The restorations and non-surgical periodontal treatment was now complete. They did however have new patients in the practice over the past 20+ years that were now receiving non-surgical periodontal treatment and were on the schedule for the 90 days of periodontal maintenance which needs to follow the initial phase of non-surgical treatment. The office and all the team members were on board with the new CAMBRA protocols and patients who are considered moderate to high risk for caries came in more frequently for the appropriate treatment which is now the standard of care.

The entire team was implementing home care systems for their patients individual needs. It used to be that patients left the office but now they were able to purchase and take home these products. It saved time going to a drug store and they were offered the appropriate product for their needs. These products were also professional grade, very high quality products which can be necessary for specific types of restorations and also post –op care.

With the newly implemented treatment protocols patients feel an added value to their treatment. These patients became the disciples for Dr. Patterson’s dental business. Previous to implementing these protocols and systems, the practice’s number of new patients was beginning to drop off significantly. Was this due to the economy? This, most likely, didn’t help any. What made the change was the internal marketing done with the current patients through added value and various tools. Some of these added tools they had available but were not utilizing to their full advantage.

This is one of example of why your hygiene department is so valuable to you; it provides passive income that is dependable. If you have a solid hygiene recare system in place you will retain approximately 95% of your active patient base.

New Patients are important

As in this illustration with Dr. Patterson; approximately 50% of a doctor’s production comes from the hygiene department during the hygiene exams. The remainder of treatment will come from your new patients once all the treatment plans are completed for the existing patients. You will also find that treatment production will exist due to emergency patients and new patients. If the number of new patients is less than 20-25 per month, on average per doctor, production is going to decline compared to the practice production when it is closer to 30. Dr. Patterson just added an additional 5 new patients each month which also helped increase the profits.

Another example of what happens when adding just a small percentage of new patients each month to a dental office is that it will create a much more mature practice with unimaginable growth over just a 10 year period of time. This is how you can retire and have a valuable asset as well as many other golden nuggets.

When talking about new patients and a healthy number of new patients; you are keeping not only the hygiene department practice alive but your entire dental business will thrive. The statistics here will make or break your dental practice when you want to sell and/or retire. These are the tools which will increase your bottom line and profitability year after year.

Lessons learned

What did Dr. Patterson do differently? It is this phrase “Take action”. Don’t wait around until you have a declining schedule and profits.

“If you have always done it that way, it is probably wrong.” Charles Kettering

10 Proven Steps to Receive More Patients: Part 2

By: admin

February 8, 2010

You may notice your practice is running along smoothly for the past two or maybe five years. Things can just hum along feeling very nice for quite some time. Perhaps you have just come back from a CE course or hired a new consultant. You just found out that what you thought was the number of active patients in your practice was not a true number. If you consider yourself a leader and like to stay on the leading end than periodically you will call in a dental expert or consultant to look at your business of dentistry in a different light.

Last week I wrote about 5 tips to have patients enter through your front door and shared 5 internal marketing tips. This week I will share some external marketing tips.

There may be times in the life of your dental practice where some attrition will occur. What can cause this type of situation to occur? Maybe some reasons are because dentistry changes rapidly and it is difficult to constantly keep up to date. It takes a lot of effort to do this alone. I can give you a long list of reasons why this can happen. The fact is – it happens to the best of us!

The outlook you can take is a positive one. Be open to change and open to taking a look in the mirror at your dental business. It may be time and very important to now re-focus your attention. Now is the time to work on your dental business not just in it. You will need to reach out to patients – new and old- in a different manner. You will now need to find out how to reach patient’s specific needs, wants and desires. You will need to find out who wants and can afford the type of dentistry you enjoy providing people in your community.

Now we will continue the list we started last week:

Step 6: Paid Media Advertising

The local newspapers and magazines that feature the city where you live offer various types of print and even electronic information about businesses in the area where your dental office is located. There are many avenues that will help focus the public attention on dentistry in general and on your practice in particular. Become familiar with the various areas of media in the area of your dental office.

The subjects you write about must be of interest to people, not just an advertisement for your practice. Examples of captions that may catch the eye are “Dentist Says Needle and Drill Nearly Obsolete”. This is a great headline if you want to talk about air abrasion or use a laser. “Cosmetic Dentistry Demand Running High” is good if you want to talk about the increased interest in cosmetic dentistry. Be creative and find something that fits your personality and business brand.

Whenever the national media focuses on dentistry, take advantage of it on a local level. Write something about the focus for the local publications in your area. If the FDA recently approved the use of lasers for more than just curing composites you can write about how you can accommodate patients who desire this type of treatment. Maybe write something to educate the general public about the benefits of laser treatment. If you have a laser, this exposure affords you an opportunity to call attention to your practice. A nice headline might be “Tampa Dentist Goes High-Tech with Newly Approved Laser”.

If you don’t have a laser, you can still take advantage of the media exposure by promoting what you do have and relating it to what you have that may be important to others in your community. Maybe you can use this line “Star Wars Era Comes to Dentistry”. This article you have written or personally write can talk about the laser and continue to mention advances such as new composites, air abrasion, intraoral cameras, multimedia presentations, or computer smile design. These are all ways people will show interest in what you have to offer them. You will never know until you open the door.

Writing for the local media can create very positive effects for dentistry and for your practice. This is not one of the more cost effective ways to increase your name and recognition but it is a way to really make something look good. Last week I wrote about more cost effective ways to market your practice utilizing social media.

Step 7: eNewsletters

Develop a newsletter because there are pieces of information about dentistry that can easily be added to your dental office newsletter. This is a newsletter that can in the 21st century be sent electronically. There is no longer a need to spend money on postage. If you still want to send mailings through snail mail than I recommend that you are cost effective with this and mail it along with a statement. I also recommend that if you can do this electronically post it on the internet as many places as possible. Twitter, Facebook Fan Page and even Linked in can be great places to post these newsletters and when done they can attract a lot of positive attention to who you are as a dental office.

Tip 8: Offer Your Professional Knowledge

Give and get help from people in related fields by etablishing a cross-referral arrangement with a cosmetic surgeon, chiropractor, upscale spa-type salon, athletic club, or talent agency will help you connect with the type of patients you are seeking. Some athletic clubs will allow a professional to have a table and actually meet the clients to educate the club members about their services and leave business cards and brochures with the people who come to the athletic club. My local athletic club has a special going for the members when they seek tooth whitening procedures at the dental office near our gym.

Establishing these types of relationships inevitably requires that you and your alliance partner become friends. You each need to have a genuine interest in helping the other.

Step 9: Educate Others Unrelated to Your Profession

Be available to educate others when your office is located near other types of businesses, meet the people that work there and offer your services. Your office is located at an area convenient to their place of employment. This means less time off work depending upon what type of hours your office is open. Some offices during this depressed economic climate now have their extended hours so patients don’t miss work. Now is the time to make a dental visit convenient for patients. The special times you have opened for your patients convenience is a point to make whenever you are sending a letter, invitation to an open house you may hold. If you have something printed have one of your team members deliver it personally. Let everyone know about the special hours and services you have arranged for their needs, wants and request.

If you know there is a 10k or marathon in your neighborhood offer to be a sponsor and have a booth to spread the good word about your services. Have a contest or raffle where people can enter to win the contest. The benefit is that you educate potential patients about your dental practice and they receive a chance to win a whitening session or some service in your office. You are giving them the 411 necessary to become a loyal patient.

Become involved in the local schools and/or PTA. Offer educational programs in your community. Give a gift to a child who will write a special paper about dentistry. Maybe it’s not about dentistry but be creative with something a child can do and be rewarded for with a gift from your office. This is something important to write about and have published in the local newspaper, etc. February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. Think of something creative to do in your community to let everyone know what a great dental office you have. Celebrate what you do for patients old and young!

It’s all about the connections in your community and people noticing a special group of kind and caring group of people. Attract the types of patients who will be life lasting to your dental business.

Step 10: Stay Current

Stay current because people want to know that their health care professional is up to date and on the leading edge. Services such as laser treatment, whitening, antimicrobials, quality, and natural home-care products are a few of the important services you need to be open to offering your patients.

Staying current also means that you attend special advanced training, continuing education and take advantage of the tools available to be on the leading edge and on top of what you do professionally. Not only do you want to be on top with clinical skills but your management skills as well. There are many ways you can easily stay on top of the ever changing world of dentistry. It doesn’t mean that you need to spend a lot of money to travel somewhere but there are now courses available via your home computer: home study courses, live and on-demand webinars. Take advantage of these tools which are available now in our high tech lifestyle.

Of course, these ten tips are not a complete list of ways you can attract the type of patient you enjoy treating. These are only a few of the effective, relatively inexpensive ways to keep patients coming through you front door. Keep the back door closed and locked at all times. Keep the old and bring in the new. One is silver and the other is gold. I learned this motto in Girl Scouts and it holds true in our great profession of dentistry

Debbie Seidel-Bittke and all the team at Dental Practice Solutions

New Patients, Value, Compliance, & Long Term Return

By: admin

February 1, 2010

By: Mark Dilatush

Intro
The purpose of this article is to help you identify a portion of your marketing circle. A marketing circle is a new customer (patient) from initial interest & inquiry, all the way through until they leave your practice (for any reason). Every dental practice has a marketing circle. Many practices have breaks in their marketing circle. Breaks are costly. Most breaks are completely avoidable. It is my hope that this article helps you indentify and improve (close) some of those breaks.

What are the most common breaks in dental marketing circles?

  1. Not understanding the potential long term value of each new patient.
  2. Not understanding the hygiene department role in that value.
  3. Not doing the “little things”
  4. Improper promotion mix

Let’s take these one at a time.

Long term value of each new patient

The long term value of every new patient is measurable, although it is different from practice to practice and market to market. Would you be surprised to learn that a typical average revenue per active patient ranges from $800 to $1,200? Well, don’t be surprised. I’ve seen them as high as $2,600! Now consider that this is just a one year measurement. The value of each new patient over the life of the practice can be 10 times this! Do the math yourself. There are dental practices out there that produce an average of $2m/year for 20 years. That’s $40,000,000. If over the life of their practice, they saw 2,000 truly “active” patients – this equates to a lifetime revenue of $20,000 per active patient. I know what you are thinking, “how can a practice produce $2m on just 2,000 active patients?” Simple, it happens every day, all across the country. What is confusing you is the realistic definition of an “active patient”.

Short sighted dentists may not really worry too much about the patients that are leaving the practice. If those dentists understood the value of those patients leaving, it is very likely they would be motivated to look for breaks in their circle, and fix them! That’s why the long term value of each new patient is the first section of this article.

If you want to calculate and track these leading indicators for your practice, Mark has graciously offered to share the instructions and a spreadsheet that you can use to personally calculate the leading indicators for your dental practice. You can find the instructions here, and the spreadsheet is here.

Not understanding the hygiene department’s role in the overall value of each patient

What dentist’s need to realize is that the time spent in hygiene isn’t just about the revenue generated at that one visit. The big payback for the practice is when that patient continues to be compliant to re-care, requires additional restorative dentistry in the future, requires periodontal treatment in the future, has the time/confidence/trust necessary to refer their family & friends, and so on and so on. If you think the big deal about your hygiene department is the $85 you are collecting for the cleaning – you are making an enormous miscalculation and creating the subsequent break in your practice’s marketing circle.

In many cases, the primary relationship between patient and dental practice is not between the patient and the dentist. I know it probably pains you to hear that but if you are honest with yourself, you know it to be true. Good quality new patients value relationships. Many would never go to another dental practice just because they value their relationship with your hygienist with such high regard.

If your hygiene department is not running on all cylinders, it can/will definitely minimize the return on your marketing investment and increase your long term costs.

Not doing the little things

There are a million of these, so let’s just focus on the one’s that you can fix tomorrow at very little or not cost.

With the first little thing, let me ask you a few simple questions:

How many times last month did a new patient call during normal business hours and get your answering machine?

How many times last month did a new patient call, got connected, but ended up not making an appointment?

What reasons were most prominent when new patients called but did not schedule?

None of you (ok, maybe a handful) know the answers to these questions. Why? As a business owner, wouldn’t you want to know the answers to these questions? By not knowing the answers to these questions, could that create a break in your marketing circle? Of course it can! I would bet, in the majority of your dental practices, this is a significant break in your marketing circle.

The solution is simple really. On each of your external promotions, attach a unique telephone number and monitoring service. We use www.callsource.com for our clients. You can do the same.

At any time of the day during the month, you can log onto a secure website and listen to every new patient call, see calls that went to voice mail, and quantify the return you are getting from your marketing expenses. Pretty easy!

The second little thing is really easy to do and has a cost of zero. How many of you have no-show new patient appointments? If the answer is greater than one or two a year – I have the solution for you.

Call your new patients the day they call to make their first appointment! Why not? You have a call back list of patients you saw today anyway. Why not call the three or four new patients that made their first appointment today? The conversation is ridiculously simple. You just introduce yourself, check with them to make sure they are not experiencing any dental pain (they won’t be, otherwise they’ll be on the emergency schedule), and answer any remaining questions they might have. The whole call might take maybe – one minute. Bingo! You just minimized your new patient no-show rate down to zero (or as close to zero as humanly possible). You just closed a break in your marketing circle.

Improper promotion mix

This is a big one.

If you are currently promoting your dental practice, and, that promotion is primarily geared toward some kind of deal or incentive, I can confidently state that you are creating your own break within your marketing circle.

New patients that respond primarily to a deal or incentive are statistically notorious for being non-compliant to re-care. So, while the dentist appreciates having the schedule appear “full”, and perhaps for a short period of time the practice enjoys some boost in revenues because of the increase in new patient flow – I guarantee you the back end revenue build we discussed earlier in this article, will not be there. It will be partially there, but nowhere near where it could be had the practice promoted itself based on the benefits of today’s dentistry – rather than a financial incentive.

I am not saying that all financial incentives are wrong or should never be used. That’s not what I am saying. What I am saying is that there must be a balance. You must balance the benefits of today’s dentistry within your promotion. You must balance the need for new patient volume based on your capacity. If a solo practitioner really only needs another 10 to 15 new patients each month to get the practice going – why would they promote their practice based on price (incentives)? They should be able to get that volume promoting the benefits of dentistry.

Summary

By no means is the above list, a complete list of breaks in a dental practice’s marketing circle. But, the list is the most common list of breaks. I hope by sharing them along with the supporting downloads, that you will begin to close your breaks one at a time.

If you have any questions at all about the content of this article, feel free to reach Mark at:

Mark Dilatush
866.336.8237
markd@newpatientsinc.com

From the editor

By: admin

Dear Colleagues,

It’s February —- Let’s talk about your office and why you love the dentist(s), the team and people you work with. It’s that time of the year when we show our love for those around us so let’s focus on the positive factors of our career and the people we work with. Please take time to email us and let us know what you love about the people you work with. We want to share the love you have for this fantastic profession we are a part of! During the month of February we hope you will email us and let us know about what you love as a team member in your office. The person who shows us the most love will be announced in our eNewsletter on March 2, 2010. We will send the winner a $30.00 Starbucks gift card and announce your name in the eNewsletter. Please email us with your letters including your name, contact information and the office information where you work. We just want to know this information so we can contact you.

If you haven’t already signed up to be a part of our Practice Profitability Challenge please go to our website (www.dentalpracticesolutions.com) and sign up. It’s FREE and every team becomes a winner whether you win the grand prize or third prize.

February 4, 2010 I will personally announce the details about the Practice Profitability Challenge and you will receive two special tips to begin increasing the patient profits without working harder but improving your patients’ oral and total health, while becoming more productive.

As a grand prize winner of the Practice Profitability Challenge the winning team wil win a year membership to Loyal Teams, Inc. (www.loyalteamsinc.com) which includes many rewards that go directly to the team for their use at hotels, restaurants, movie tickets, etc. New Patients Inc. will also be giving away a discount to attend their summit and for the second prize the team will receive Volumes 1-3 of New Patient Inc.’s Unique New Patient Series. Third place team will win home care products for the office. Each team that participates in the challenge will receive a practice analysis and a one hour telecoaching session with founder Debra Seidel-Bittke,

This month we will talk about new patients from soup to nuts. We have Mr. Mark Dilatush of New Patients, Inc. (www.newpatientsinc.com) writing about new patients in this issue of our eNewsletter. He has a lot of great information to share and I hope you will gain some new pearls from what he shares with all of us this month. On February 18, 2010 @ 5:30 pm (PST) he will be our special guest on the webinar. Please plan to join us as he is the leading expert with everything and anything you want and need to know about new patients.

Join us this month for a lot of fun with the profitability challenge, our fun webinars and let us know about the love for your office and the team to win a Starbucks gift card.

We want to be your resource and expert for dental hygiene profitability and many other aspects of your dental practice.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

Founder – Dental Practice Solutions

10 Proven Steps to Receive More Patients

By: admin

The next 3 months Dental Practice Solutions will be hosting a Practice Profitability Challenge. The first thing we want to talk about is how to lead the patients to your front door. “Keep the old but bring in the new, one is silver and the other gold.”

The door of your dental office doesn’t need a golden ticket to enter but people who do enter need to feel as if they found the pot of gold! Our challenge is not about getting you to work harder but finding ways to add value to patients in your practice currently.

Have you been to your grocery store lately? Did the person who checked you out ask if you found what you were looking for? Have you purchased a new computer or any electronics? Were you asked to purchase an extended warranty? This is what we are talking about here. This is maximizing the revenue and adding value to the patient appointment.

Your patients use toothpaste and a toothbrush and why not buy the very best ingredients and products from the dental office where they speak to the experts. The most cost-effective action is to begin with your current patient base. It is easiest to market to your friends not total strangers.

We will share some special tips during the next 3 months to add value, keep patients coming back, refer their friends and family because they truly believe you are the best dental team there is!

This week and next we will share 5 tips (A total of 10) to be the best and attract new patients to your dental office.

Step 1: Internal Marketing

The first part of internal marketing is called “up selling.” The idea is to educate your patients about the value of buying their dental products from your dental office. This includes a Sonicare, Triumph or a battery Spinbrush. Patients buy toothpaste and possibly mouthwash so why not have them buy the product that is most effective for each individual patient with the appropriate ingredients; maybe a product that doesn’t contain alcohol or abrasive silica. You are the expert and you know which product is best for each of your patients. The idea is to sell more dentistry to those who you already know. These are people who enter your door and are most likely people who are happy with the services you already offer. These patients will benefit from your expert knowledge.

The dental office and in particular the dental hygiene team spend a lot of time communicating with the active patient base several times each year. These are the team members who hold patients captive for a longer period of time — several times a year. The dental hygienists are the perfect people to educate patients about the services and products offered in your dental office. If you have a website why not add a page which highlights the products your patients can benefit from. When you send out a newsletter include these products and the information that makes these products special for your patients. This can be a personalized letter to your patients sent out either monthly or quarterly. Most dental offices now use software which can customize a letter and “mail merge” to add your patients name and mailing address. Using a Fan Page on Facebook is also a great way to get this information out to your patient base as well as attract new patients.

Educate your patients while they are in the office and in all the information mailed to them, about the services your dental office offers. These are services such as veneers, teeth whitening, air abrasion, intraoral cameras, endoscopy procedures, magnification you use for each procedure, inlays, onlays, new types of porcelain- like crowns, all the fresh breath products offered, xylitol products -their benefits and even the power tooth brushes which you recommend on an individualized basis.

Tip 2: Ask for referrals

Maybe you feel timid about asking for referrals from your patients but this is the easiest way to receive new patients and it is the most cost-effective method to market your practice. Most patients are happy to help promote your dental office and they will remember to tell their friends and family members how great you are as their dentist, when you take time to ask for a referral. If you are sending patients out of the dental hygiene room with a type of report card; printed right from the computer software, it becomes a great reminder of the value your office adds and it will be a way for patients to have something to share with colleagues at work, family at home, or neighbors, etc.

When a referral comes to your office as a new patient remember to send a thank you and some sort of gift to the patient who referred this new patient. It can be something as simple a movie tickets but it is something small that will make a huge impact on the referring patients.

Always have a place in your reception area with brochures and information about your office, the procedures, products you offer and the value you add to the patient.

Tip 3: Use photographs everywhere

Be sure to have before and after photos of your dentistry on your website and in your reception area. Make certain these are your own photos and not a dental colleagues or stock photo. You should feel proud of the dentistry you provide and you want to show it off to all who walk through the front door of your office.

In that book of photos in your reception area and on the page of the veneers or teeth whitening procedures you are displaying, explain all about these procedures and what is actually happening in the procedure. This helps patients learn about these procedures that you offer.

Be certain that patients who have photos taken sign a disclosure form or release of liability so you can legally use their teeth and face.

Tip 4: Educate to Motivate

Patient education videos are a nice addition to photos. This can be something you run in a continuous-loop for patients in your reception area. Let the patients know the benefits of procedures you offer and let them know how great their smile can be. You can also have videos to run in the operatories if you have a set up for viewing movies. You have a captive audience and this provides another great opportunity to educate your patients.

For those who have a fun and creative team, why not make a video and post on Youtube.com. You can then post these for patients to view on the office Facebook Fan page or the Office Twitter account.

Tip 5: Pick up the Phone

It is important to call each patient on the evening after a long procedure was completed. This also includes the hygiene patients who had scaling and root planning procedures. It is a simple phone call made the evening after treatment. Ask to speak to the patient and find out how they are doing. Specifically ask how the appointment went for them, if the anesthesia has worn off, if they are experiencing any pain, if they have any questions, how the bite feels, and so on. The purpose of asking these questions is so you know ASAP if anything is wrong. If there is something wrong this is a more comfortable way for people to let you know and you can fix it right away – before they decide to go to another practice and disparage your great work completed.

Patients truly appreciate the time you take to check how they are doing later that evening.

These 5 tips aren’t the only pearls to attract new patients and keep the old but they are great tips to include for people in general showing you care. The amount of admiration and attention you give to your patients determines the rewards you receive in return. Happy Patient means Happy team! The result = Added profitability!

Next week 5 more tips…