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

7 Tips to Survive and Thrive Today!

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

June 18, 2013

Survive and Thrive

 

You most likely chose to be a dentist because it is supposed to give you a chance to live a great life! It should be able to give you a lot of freedom.

Maybe your goal was to work three or four days a week. I imagine that you probably expected to have a bank account with many zeroes at the end of the balance by now.

“Why is this not happening?!”

Many dentists today are asking this question. If you are one of these dentists asking this question, I want to let you know that you are not alone!

I also know without a doubt – — – There is HOPE! I promise you that there is a silver lining to the story of “Today’s Economic Crisis” that many of you are feeling.

During the depression there were more millionaires created than ever before and I know this is happening again – as I am writing this –  it is happening.

What is the best answer to this question?

The answer is not going to be something you may want to hear but the answer is this simple: 

  1. INVEST in YOURSELF 

Years ago, you invested in your education and it didn’t stop there. Investing in yourself is something you need to continue over your lifetime – -and I don’t mean only investing in the DOW JONES or NASDAQ. I mean investing in your dental business and creating systems that consistently bring profits.

Dentistry is a very fast moving industry. Technology changes, internet and how people search for a dentist have changed. The systems and services that create consistent multiple income streams for your dental practice have changed in just the last 5 years. Patients used to come to a hygiene appointment to have their teeth cleaned. Now patients can come to their dental office for preventive services that support total health.

I feel your pain and I know that you don’t want to spend another dime.

The answer is that if you don’t invest in a solution to your own economic decline, you will never leave this challenging situation you are in today.

There needs to be a CHANGE.

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Albert Einstein

For myself, I invest in coaches who support and guide me to stay in a position that will serve my clients at the highest level. This is how you will not only survive but THRIVE. This is what I know works best for those who want to be at the top of their game.

“INVEST IN ME” = Your Biggest ROI 

2. Hire a dental practice management consultant who is an expert in their niche. This should not and will not drain your bank account if you choose the correct one for you. Find an expert whose expertise is solving you specific needs. Now you will have your biggest ROI. This is the best way to invest in you.

3. Do you know that your dental hygiene department is the one area that can create multiple streams of income? This is the one area of your dental practice where you need to have up-to-date systems and services. There are some simple questions that your hygienist can ask that will drive your profits by $100,000.00 in the next year, services that create optimal health and profits.

About 99% of our clients have at least $100,000.00 of unscheduled treatment sitting in their patient charts. Do you know what to say to a patient who  did not want to schedule for necessary treatment? Do you know 1 simple question your hygienist can ask that will drive adjunctive and aesthetic services, that perhaps your patients never thought to ask you about?

4. There is a simple step-by-step strategy to bring them back to your office. Most recently we have an office report that 50 patients scheduled their hygiene appointment when they took step one of our Continuing C.A.R. E. System.

5. Implement an incentive program to inspire patients to come back to your office. Use this to bring in overdue patients and also create referrals for New Patients.

 6. Implement a smile evaluation. Ask your patients what is one thing they would like to change about their smile. There are so many different ways to ask this simple question but the bottom line is to ASK. 

7. ASK your patients who can’t commit to schedule treatment; “When is a good time to follow up with you?” Or better yet, they probably have unanswered questions and this is the really meaning behind their statement? ASK them to return for a short consultation and invite then to bring their spouse or the other decision maker with them.

ASK: Always Seek Knowledge.

  • Ask yourself “what can I do differently today to create a positive change?”
  • Ask your patients the various questions suggested above.

These are only a few suggestions so you can not only survive today’s economic decline but these are suggestions for you to THRIVE!

After all, that is why you do what you do – RIGHT?

Here is to your success!

 Debbie Oct 2012ABOUT DEBBIE SEIDEL-BITTKE, RDH, BS

Are you looking to improve profits in your dental hygiene department? Debbie has an innovative and successful way to consistently increase profits in your dental practice.

Many dentists today only need a 1 or 2 day workshop in-office to create the best solutions. Some offices find it valuable to participate in one of our online membership programs. This investment will be your highest ROI .

Check our our services section on the website to find one that meets your needs. Consider getting your team involved in our 12 week Case Acceptance Program. You won’t need to stop your day of work at the office or pay for a dental consultant to travel to your office. The program is at your fingertips 24/7  indefinitely.

Debbie writes for many of the major dental conferences in the world. She is recognized for the past 8 years as “One of Dentistry Today’s Top Consultants.”

Many of her clients span from not only the United States but Brazil, Australia, India and the UK, just to mention a few. She has unique and one-of-a-kind learning systems for offices all over the world to participate in as well as in-office workshops and dental hygiene consulting.

 

 

 

 

 

1 Simple Tweak in What You Say Can Create More Dental Practice Profits Today

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

June 10, 2013

 

Arrow up profits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With every year that passes, as a dental practice management consultant, I see more and more dentists enrolling in clinical aesthetic courses. When I return to their office I see the new technology they have spent thousands of dollars on this past year.

It is exciting to know that dentists all over the world are seeking out the latest dental technology and products to improve their patients smile.

Once you have completed your CE course, your next step (and also an important goal) needs to be a system to introduce these new services to your patients. How do you know if the service you just spent a few thousand dollars educating yourself to provide your patients is something they are willing to pay for?

Of course one simple answer can possibly be to ask your patients if they want this treatment for themselves.

My question to you is “Have you ever or do you consistently ask your patients what types of services they desire?” have you asked them “What does that mean for you if we can change the appearance of your smile?”

It is the summer and many of your patients probably want to look good for their son or daughters graduation, a wedding or reunion. They may be thinking that they can’t afford to change the way their smile looks. Your patients probably assume it is not possible for their smile to improve due to money, time or even how old they “think” they are.

 

If you never ask, the answer will always be a “NO.”

 

At Dental Practice Solutions, we educate your client offices to annually inquire about their patients smile. We call this a smile evaluation. It’s a simple, one page survey, given to the patient upon check in at the front desk. The patient completes these questions in about 60 seconds and then when the hygienist is reviewing the patient medical history she or he will smoothly transition into the smile evaluation. While the patient is seated in the treatment room, the hygienist reviews the patients answers and together, they look at the patients teeth in a mirror. This is not meant to be time consuming but can efficiently be completed with some simple training.

What I see NOT What I have Found

After the hygienist has reviewed the smile evaluation with their patient, they should tour the patient’s mouth with the intra-oral camera. This allows you to show the patient the following:

  • Decay, missing teeth, large amalgams, aged resins that are stained/chipped
  • Old bridges which are no longer aesthetically pleasing,
  • Cracked /or misaligned teeth
  • Poor home care (excessive plaque and YES – even green teeth!)
  • Heavy calculus and/or stain

When talking to patients about what you see, be sure not to say for example:

“Mrs. Dalton, I have found…” This seems to leave a negative feeling with patients who think “My dentist always finds something!”

Instead, when looking at the patients teeth and gums say words phrases like “do you see ____?”  or “Mrs. Dalton today we saw ________.”

Always keep the door to improving every patients smile. It works best for everyone if you don’t presume or prejudge a patient’s values or pocket book.

If you don’t ask “the answer will be NO” so keep the open door policy and begin to ask every patient “If there is one thing they could change about their smile what would that be?”

One Simple Tweak in What You Say

There are so many twists on this simple question and if you will take time to annually update each patients smile, it will go a long way to making patients leave feeling very happy about the services you have provided them and your will see an increase in your profits.

Continuing education courses can do a lot to support a successful dental practice. The important piece here is to have a goal to use this. Decide how you will begin to offer this new service to your patients and write the date on your calendar, when you will begin asking patients what they want to change about their smile.

Now you can reap the benefits of that expensive aesthetic course and new technology you just paid a lot of money for!  One small shift in what you say to patients can increase dental practice profits by thousands each year.

ABOUT DEBBIE AND DENTAL PRACTICE SOLUTIONS

Debbie Oct 2012

Are you looking to improve profits in your dental hygiene department? Debbie has an innovative and successful way to educate you and your team to create the small tweaks mentioned in this blog. Many dentists today request a 1 or 2 day workshop or find it valuable to participate in the online membership program offered by Dental Practice Solutions. This can mean your highest ROI for this year when you get everyone on the team to that next level of success. Check our her services section on the website to find one that meets your needs. Consider getting your team involved in her 12 week Case Acceptance Program. You won’t need to stop your day of work at the office or pay for a consultant to travel to your office. The program is at your fingertips 24/7  indefinitely.

Debbie writes for many of the major dental conferences in the world. She is recognized for the past 8 years as “One of Dentistry Today’s Top Consultants.”

Many of her clients span from not only the United States but Brazil, Australia, India and the UK, just to mention a few.

 

7 Ways to Eliminate Short-notice Cancellations and No-show Appointments

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

June 3, 2013

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For the past 3 years dentists have been calling my office to ask “Debbie, how can I stop all these last minute cancellations?!” and “Debbie, how can I stop the bleeding of my hygiene schedule? Look at all these holes in the schedule!”

The calls from more dentists continue and I continue to create more and more solutions for the new callers and the offices that still feel stuck and have not implemented any of the suggestions.

I am sorry to say but listening to be give solutions is not going to stop the cancellations and the bleeding. There will always be emergency situations in your patient’s lives that cause them to call and cancel. The situation is that will never be able to completely eliminate cancellations. This is a fact of life. What you can do is eliminate the cancellations and no-shows that occur because your patients do not consider their dental appointment important.

Today, I write about strategies to consider and eliminate or at least decrease your last-minute and/or no-show appointments down to a very low number week.

1. Identify patients with a history of last minute cancellations and no-shows. You need to create a different strategy to work with these patients.

2. Do not call and confirm patients appointments and then ask them to call back to verify they received your message. This will only invite them to call you back and cancel their appointment.

3. Do not allow patients to call and leave an appointment cancellation on your voicemail or answering service. Your message needs to state that your office doesn’t not accept cancellation messages. The only way a patient can cancel an appointment is to speak to someone live in your office.

4. When a patient is known for cancelling appointments short notice and/or no-showing for their appointments do not allow them to reschedule an appointment within a 2 week period. Do not allow these patients to think that your time is not valuable and they can return to your office quickly. These patients may need to be on a “short-notice” call list.

5. When you do call a patient to confirm an appointment, say phrases such as “Susan is looking forward to seeing you tomorrow at 2pm for your preventive care appointment. Please take your Amoxicillin one hour prior to your appointment and we will see you then.” That is all. Stop saying things like “This is Dr. Jones’s office calling to confirm your cleaning tomorrow at 2pm. Can you please call me back to let me know you have received this message?”

6. Stay connected with your patients in between their dental appointments. This can be done through an office newsletter, text messages and social media. I suggest that every office have an office Fan page. Communicate at least once a day when you are working at the office. If you have a special running or contest post this on your fan page. Let patients know you have the fan page and give them a chance to “Like” your page while they are in your office. Many offices today have an iPad in the treatment rooms and/or reception area which can assist your patients with writing a review and “liking” your page while they are in your office.

7. WIIFM syndrome. It seems to be typical these days for people to be motivated to do something because there is something in it for them. Offices seem to have a decrease in short-notice cancellations and no-shows when they offer free whitening touch-ups to their hygiene patients. Patients are rewarded for continually showing up for their dental appointments. When patients do not cancel short-notice or no-show they qualify to receive 2 syringes of whitening for free. 1 syringe 2 times a year. Forever White™ is the same premium ingredients but for about 60% less money. The syringes are individually packaged and the size of each syringe is 25% larger than most whitening product syringes.

CONCLUSION

There are numerous ways you can reduce those short-notice cancellations and eliminate the constant no-shows. The most important thing you can do is to choose one of these 7 tips and implement at least 1 of these today. Meet with your team and set some goals to implement more of these suggestions. Monitor your success and remember to celebrate your successes.

Consider utilizing Forever White™ today. You will receive our eBook to Boosts Profits, all the team support to get your patients enrolled in this program and so much more, with your first order.

Debbie Oct 2012

Debbie Seidel- Bittke, RDH, BS is founder of Dental Practice Solutions. Debbie has immersed herself in the science, systems, services and methodologies that create success and profitability in a dental practice, beginning with increasing the bottom line in the dental hygiene department. She writes for numerous dental journals, speaks at dental conferences nationally and for seven years in a row, she has been known as one of Dentistry Today’s Top Consultants.