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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

5 Time Saving Tips to Work Smarter During Your Dental Hygiene Appointments

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

July 30, 2013

Clock dont be late

 

Time management is one stressor no matter what your occupation is. You can be a stay-at-home mom: a domestic engineer, and yet managing your time during the day is one thing we all need to manage.

Then, to make matters more challenging, you work in a dental office and you need to complete patient services in a very timely manner. I’m certain that you want your dental patients to feel a high level of customer satisfaction, so you blood pressure and pulse tend to run a bit higher than they would on a weekend at home with your family.

This week I want to offer a few more tips to keep you running like a well-oiled machine daily during your dental hygiene appointments.

1.  YOUR PERCEPTION IS YOUR REALITY

“Set realistic expectations of yourself and others.”

Mostly likely, you have set very high expectations for yourself. Dentists, hygienists and the other auxiliaries tend to put pressure on themselves to get it perfect. We want to get the job done at the very best level of quality and patient satisfaction. This is just how we are!

Take time to strategize and plan out your day in the dental office. Know who needs to be where and when. How can you eliminate those bottlenecks during your day? What else can you create success and distress?

What can you do to schedule a successful and stress-free day in your dental office?

2. USE YOUR TECHNOLOGY EFFECTIVELY

“Less is more”

Many of us hygienists who were educated many years ago, didn’t receive a lot of education on the use of ultrasonic’s and/or lasers. If you were educated in an era where these technologies were not as effective as they are today, take a course to learn the latest – most up to date clinical skills to utilize these technologies and save time during your day.

Today’s dental hygiene appointments need to include 80% ultrasonic’s and 20% hand scaling. This is not only a time-saver but creates improved health for your patients.

Saving your clinical treatment time means more time for education. Maybe you need to educate your patient about the oral systemic link, or the initial diagnosis you just made. It may be possible that you patient have an outstanding treatment plan and if you can find extra time in that hygiene appointment, you can educate your patient. The end result is a happier – healthier patient, less scaling at future appointments and most likely more profits to the practice.

3. PICTURES PAINT A THOUSAND WORDS

I know I have said this before, and as a Dental Practice Management Consultant, I can not stress enough that use of the intraoral camera is one technology dentists tell me, their hygienist doesn’t use enough.

Do you use the intraoral camera but large populations of your patients do not accept your treatment plans?

Try explaining treatment options, procedures, etc., by using brochures, posters, and even CASEY or an iPad with videos.

If you do step out of the treatment room for a minute, the videos are a great time for education tools like CASEY, the iPad a beautiful photo album of past treatment doctor has completed. (Doctor’s before and after photos)

4. DOWN TO A SCIENCE DOCTOR/DENTAL HYGIENE EXAMS

The biggest stress relief I can not mention again is that doctor needs to complete the exam after the hygienist has completed his/her initial co-diagnosis.

Last week’s blog included a diagram outlining the 3 parts of the hygiene appointment.

Breakdown the dental hygiene appointment into 3 areas:

Data Collection – This includes the review of medical history, Xerostomia, Malodor assessments, blood pressure, oral cancer and antioxidant screenings, etc. Annually you will complete a six-point periodontal screening exam, radiographs and even a TMD exam.

Always, before you begin the hygiene clinical procedures, re-evaluate any previous areas of concern: CAMBRA (Caries risk) or Periodontal Areas of concern, etc.

Case Presentation – This is the “co-diagnosis.” The exact time the dental hygienist sits their patient up in the chair to discuss and communicate with the patient, what they see in their mouth during the data collection stage of the hygiene appointment.

At this point in time – approximately 24 minutes into the hygiene appointment, doctor should be able to enter and complete the patient exam.

Clinical Patient Care – At this point in the dental hygiene appointment you will proceed with your clinical care which may also include homecare/post-op instructions.

You have approximately 36 minutes remaining for the patient’s clinical care. During this period of time and not more than 15 minutes before the end of the patient’s appointment (the doctor should enter to complete the exam between 36 and 45 minutes into the hygiene appointment.

5. SMOOTH OPERATOR

When doctor does enter to begin the patient exam, the dental hygienist will be seated in their chair and should be providing patient care. The hygienist will move from her/his chair and over to the other side of the patient to interact with doctor during the exam.

There are numerous suggestions for saving time during the dental hygiene appointment as well as other services in the dental office performed daily.

Does your day in the dental office run smoothly or do you hit bumps in the road? I hope you will share your answers below in the comments section.

If you want to take a deeper dive into any of these topics please consider participating in our 30 Day Dental Hygiene Profits Program. This is 30 Days of dental hygiene department services, systems and distressing to create more time in your day, harmony in your working and personal relationships. This turn-key program is increasing dental hygiene department profits by 25-37% over the next 6-12 months. The more you implement from the program, the greater your results will be!

ABOUT DEBBIE

ME not too high jpeg

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS, is founder of Dental Practice Solutions and for over 20 years she has been committed to creating a dental hygiene department that works enthusiastically, creating a high performance teams, improving patients’ total health and consistent profits to the dental practice.

She is an author for journals such as Dentistry Today, HygieneTown and RDH. Debbie speaks internationally about systems and services in the dental hygiene department to create a team that works like a well-oiled machine, improving the total health of patients’, utilizing the most recent science to prevent disease and consistently increase profits.

In 1984 she graduated from USC in Los Angeles in with a Bachelors Degree in Dental Hygiene. She is a former clinical assistant professor from USC. In 2000-2002 Debbie co-taught the practice management course for the dental students. Debbie is also a former dental hygiene program director for a school in Portland, Oregon where she wrote the accreditation, hired the instructors, purchased all the equipment, worked with project managers on the building of the school while managing a 2 million dollar budget.
Debbie works with dental practices throughout the world and is considered a leader in creating consistent profits to a dental practice through services and systems in the dental hygiene department.

7 Tips for Dental Hygiene Appointment Success: Staying on Time, Keep it Down to a Science

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

July 24, 2013

Microsoft Word - TiME MANAGEMENT.doc

Let’s face it, working in a dental office and managing to stay on time for your patients can be a stressful event!

The dental office team members need to take charge and manage the daily schedule.

How can your dental team take charge and reduce the potential threat of stress of “Staying on Time”?

The dental hygiene appointment can be stress-free is you follow these 7 tips.

Step 1 Set Goals

Break down your goals according the each department, and each treatment room in your dental office. For example, a typical dental hygiene appointment should provide profits to the dental practice not a loss leader.

If you plan accordingly the profit potential can happen with the feeling of stress. Waiting for doctor to examine the patient is often a huge stressor. Even patients become anxious waiting for doctor to arrive. Have you had patients who had to wait for the doctor exam and they became impatient? Read on for some more tips to stay on time.

Step 2 Time Your Procedures

I am almost positive that you have a good idea how long each procedure will take. Time your procedures; doctor / hygiene exams, assistant time, fluoride treatments, sealants, even doctor prep time, on and on. Write down a list of services you provide patients. Write them down, include the treatment room available for the procedure (Maybe you can move a patient who needs impressions, etc., after the routine hygiene procedures) write down available rooms, which can additionally provide this service. (Within their scope of practice) This will help you gather a lot of information about how to schedule more productively and with less stress.

Have you taken time to “time” your procedures? If you have not done so, schedule a monthly team “timing meeting.” Your timing can become easily disrupting with various factors. Some of these factors are employee turnover, what to do in the case of a late patient, how do you make up for time if patient anesthesia is a challenge, etc? There are so many more topics regarding timing so sit down and create a success plan around this topic.

Step 3 Break Down the Time

Break down each appointment into primary, secondary or doctor/assistant time. When you schedule around the primary providers time, your practice will drive a health level of revenue.

I want to ask that you write down and share what type of dental procedures you enjoy providing. Include the entire team: dental hygienists and assistants as well. As a dental hygienist, I have enjoyed treating the periodontal patients. Many of my dental practice management clients have a hygienist that prefers to see the periodontal patients. In many offices one hygienist will see a large majority of the pediatric patients or the new patients. Another hygienist is best at treating the more difficult patients; stressed out patients and more difficult periodontal cases. Discover which services each provider enjoys most and then schedule in “special” times for these types of services in each provider’s schedule.

Block your schedule in 10-minute increments. If you choose 15 minutes, you will lose thousands of dollars over a year of appointments. It just doesn’t round up when you have 15 minute increments of time in your daily schedule.

Here are a few examples:

Scaling and Root Planing (SRP) – 2 quadrants. This may take only 90 minutes. There will be 3 – ten minute increments of time left after this block of time.

A patient who is at moderate to extremely high risk for caries will be returning to your office every three to four months for about 10= 20 minutes of time. (CAMBRA – CARIES MANAGEMENT BY RISK ASSESSMENT guidelines)

If you have a 90-minute block of time for two quadrants of SRP, the block of time after this service is a great time to schedule an appointment for a patient at moderate to high risk for caries. (Fluoride Varnish, homcare instructions, etc.)

Possibly a small child can be seen for a prophy/fluoride appointment. Sealants or impressions for night guards or bleach trays can fit in these thirty minutes of time as well. When you strategize and look over the doctor’s schedule, you may have the prep of a crown scheduled for 80 minutes. The doctor’s time should be blocked off during the exact time he/she must be in the room. (Examples: anesthesia time, preparing the crown, seat time, etc.)

Think outside the box of purely blocking patient dental hygiene appointments for exactly 60 minutes for a hygiene appointment. Block out the assistant time as well in this situation.

Many offices are implementing assisted hygiene, (Not to be confused with Accelerated Hygiene!) and I enjoy guiding teams through the process of creating a stress-free, success schedule of time with assisted hygiene. Always block for doctor, assistant time and hygienist time.

Step 4 Use a Schedule with Blocked Templates

Once you have established your daily production goal for each treatment room, work with your team to create and visually layout a best schedule to create quality dentistry, delivering impeccable care and that personal touch.

Do you prefer to see your high-end aesthetic cases in the morning? Do you want children in the office early morning? Block out these times exactly when you want them to be in your schedule.

I always requested that my patient appointments for scaling and root-planing be scheduled in the morning. Occasionally, I would have one after lunch but I definitely enjoyed seeing the more difficult cases in the mornings when I was fresh.

Step 5 Decide Who Will Schedule Next Appointments 

The success of a full schedule really has a lot to do with the clinical team. If you have a couple of administrative team members at the front desk, you may want to have one of them in charge of scheduling doctors’ appointments.

The hygienist (or someone on the hygiene team) is the very best person to schedule future hygiene appointments. I have found over the years as a clinical hygienist and working with my clients, that the hygienist is in a good position to educate patients about their need for specific types of appointments and the necessary intervals  to maintain optimal health. This is in line with how communication works best. It also eliminates patients going to the front desk with any confusion about why they need a next visit for “x, y, or z.”

The one time it is not efficient for the hygienist (or someone on the hygiene team) is when the patient needs multiple appointments scheduled. An example of this is a patient who was diagnosed today for four quadrants of scaling and root planing and will need to return for 4 appointments plus a perio maintenance appointment, four to six weeks later.

It can be a good idea to have one person at the front desk also is in charge of the hygiene schedule. This is one person who can make follow up calls to overdue hygiene patients as well as schedule these multiple appointments as necessary.

Step 6 Hygiene Exams

It works best for everyone, (patient, doctor and team members) if doctor enters the hygiene treatment room to complete the exam after the hygienist has completed her/his assessments and before the last 10 minutes of the hygiene appointment. I will share a diagram at the top of this blog and below is an explanation of how this should flow.

**See the photo at the top of this blog for a break-down and science of time management. Doctor should come into the hygiene room to complete the patient exam after 2nd interval – (See the time management pie chart) which is the hygienist’s initial case presentation. The hygienist completes his/her assessments and then presents his/her findings in an initial case presentation. This is a couple of minutes to explain what the hygienist and patient saw in the patient’s mouth. Doctor should not enter the hygiene room to begin the exam later than 15 minutes before the hygiene appointment is supposed to end.

Step 7 Communication Saves Time

Many offices today use radio devices, communication lights in the treatment room, or instant messaging on their computer software to communicate if a patient has arrived to the office.

Many sports teams have a high level of communication skills, moving from one play to another. This is the same level of communication you will want to have in your dental office.

One More Stress relief Management Tool

Imagine your time management skills as rewarding and stress free.

Understanding the value of your time, how it can be used and a commitment to effective communication are your keys to manifesting your goals and increasing profits in your practice!

Do you have a time stressor during your day in the dental office? What might that be? I would enjoy hearing about your time stressor.

Maybe it will be another topic here for another week’s blog. It is possible that I have a solution. If you write it in the comment below, you never know, someone else may have a great solution.

Looking forward to supporting you!

ABOUT DEBBIE 

ME not too high jpeg

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS, is founder of Dental Practice Solutions and for over 20 years she has been committed to creating a dental hygiene department that works enthusiastically, creating a high performance teams, improving patients’ total health and consistent profits to the dental practice.

She is an author for journals such as Dentistry Today, Hygiene Town and RDH. Debbie speaks internationally about systems and services in the dental hygiene department to create a team that works like a well-oiled machine, improving the total health of patients’, utilizing the most recent science to prevent disease and consistently increase profits.

In 1984 she graduated from USC in Los Angeles in with a Bachelors Degree in Dental Hygiene. She is a former clinical assistant professor from USC. In 2000-2002 Debbie co-taught the practice management course for the dental students. Debbie is also a former dental hygiene program director for a school in Portland, Oregon where she wrote the accreditation, hired the instructors, purchased all the equipment, worked with project managers on the building of the school while managing a 2 million dollar budget.
Debbie works with dental practices throughout the world and is considered a leader in creating consistent profits to a dental practice through services and systems in the dental hygiene department.

Check out her new program for 30 Days of information to increase profits in your dental hygiene department: 30 Days of Profit to Your Dental Hygiene Department

Your Doctor/Hygiene Exam Science Project

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

July 16, 2013

Male dentist assistant and patient

 

Dentistry has experienced many changes these past ten years. The economy is a lot different and the way we will deliver our treatment recommendations to our patients also needs to change today.

The dental hygienist has a big influence on how and when patients will accept treatment.

In addition, the entire dental team must rely on advanced communication skills to improve case acceptance. The dental hygienist plays a very important role in case acceptance for comprehensive care.

Let’s take this apart and study this system for the doctor/dental hygiene exam and how it can affect case acceptance. Doctor needs to write down how he/she wants this to be streamlined to create highly effective case acceptance. Role-play with your team using scripts and practice this system until you have it down perfectly.

 The Doctor/Dental Hygiene Exam

The doctor/dental hygiene exam is highly effective when there is a specific format for delivering the information: 1st from the hygienist to the patient and 2nd the delivery from hygienist to doctor while your patient is present in the treatment room.

Often times the doctor enters to complete a patient exam and it is rush-rush. Either the hygienist is running behind, maybe the hygienist has been waiting ten minutes for doctor to complete the exam and in addition, the patient may be stressed because they need to leave to return back to work, etc.

At Dental Practice Solutions we recommend a specific method for determining when doctor will complete an exam. The doctor should never wait until the end of a dental hygiene appointment to complete an exam.

When the doctor enters the treatment room, the computer monitor should show images of the teeth, showing calculus, plaque, BOP, fractured restorations, etc.

The dental hygienist also needs to have the most recent radiographs available for doctor to view when completing the exam.

Here is a scenario of how this exam process will be completed:

The dental hygienist needs to have written notes to herself/himself about what they discovered with the patient. Now the doctor and hygienist will have a specific flow to the exam conversation. (This is your roadmap)

Doctor only needs a quick “Hello, how are you Mr. XYZ?” For a patient of record there does not need to be a lot of conversation. Anything over 2 minutes is too long!

The hygienist can begin reporting to doctor with a quick personal update.

 Example:

Hygienist:“Dr. Goodtooth, Mr. Dundee’s son is getting married this summer!”

Doctor: “Congratulations! I remember when Matt was only six years old! How can it be that he is getting married?!”

Hygienist: “Dr. Goodtooth, today I reviewed Mr. XYZ’s health history and there are no changes. I took his blood pressure and it was 100/70. We completed an oral cancer screening with the ORALID®. That was negative. Mr. XYZ told me that he wants to have whiter teeth for his son’s wedding. We talked about completing those implants and before you complete those he wants to do the whitening of his teeth. I told Mr. XYZ that you would like to have the annual x-rays next time we see him in 6 months. His pocket depths were all within normal limits and there was no bleeding today. We talked about him using the Sonicare and he may buy one next time he is here.”

Doctor: Nods in agreement and says something like “Ok, or ah-huh.”

When the hygienist is finished with her/his verbal report doctor can begin to expound on the necessary treatment.

Before the patient leaves the treatment room the hygienist will schedule Mr. XYZ’s next hygiene appointment.

REPETITION IS KEY

Patient’s usually need to hear something new about three times before they are able to fully comprehend their treatment needs. Now they can attempt to make a decision to schedule and pay for treatment.

Imagine we are speaking Greek to them! They have no clue what these funny sounding words mean!

Do not attempt to discuss payment options or schedule the treatment until the patient has confirmed they understand the diagnosis.

Three Verbal Communication Opportunities

When the patient has a new condition that needs treatment it is helpful if you can talk about this three different times during this appointment. The 1st time is when the hygienist completes her or his assessments and discovers the need for treatment. At this point in time the hygienist will co-diagnose the area(s) of concern with the patient seated upright in the dental chair.

The 2nd time the patient will hear about the condition in their oral cavity is when the hygienist reports to the doctor.

The 3rd time with be at the front desk with the treatment coordinator.

STOP AND DO NOT PASS THE FRONT DESK!

Always have patients stop off at the front desk before they leave the dental office. Patient’s should always be escorted to the front desk and the dental hygienist or other auxiliary will report to the treatment coordinator or another auxiliary at the front desk, what was completed at today’s appointment and what will the next appointment be scheduled for. If the patient was scheduled in the back office treatment room, this needs to be reported when the auxiliary is speaking to the treatment coordinator at the front desk.

When patients are left to wander out of the office without a team member escorting them, appointments will many times go unscheduled and/or payment is often not received the day services are rendered.

COMMUNICATION SKILLS: REFINEMENT AND DOWN TO A SCIENCE

As a Dental Practice Management Consultant, I always recommend that you create scripts for all communication that routinely occurs. If you are talking to a new patient on the phone or maybe you are talking to a patient of record about a recent diagnosis, script out these various scenarios and role-play with your team. Role-play these various opportunities and create solutions to overcome patient objections and discover how to work in harmony as a team. Effective communication is key!

This should be an ongoing process. Learn how to understand the various ways your different patients communicate and learn how to respond to these various personality and communication styles.

LARGER COMPREHENSIVE TREATMENT PLANS

Not every patient will accept your treatment recommendations the 1st time a patient is informed of a diagnosis. Many larger cases, above $2,000.00 USD  may take three follow up attempts to finally have patient schedule for treatment.

This means that the dental hygienist plays an important role in follow up each time they see the patient.

CONCLUSION

There is a very systematic, scientific way to complete an effective doctor/dental hygiene exam.

This process really does need to be practiced until you have it down to a science.

Write scripts for everything that is said in your office between the team and patients. Always take time to role-play with the team. Practice until you make it perfect.

If you want to dig deeper into this topic Dental Practice Solutions has a one-of-a-kind 30 Day Dental Hygiene Profits Program which spends 3 Days of the 30 days on this topic of the doctor/hygiene exam. You can find more information about this program here: READ MORE

About Debbie

ME not too high jpeg

 

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS, is founder of Dental Practice Solutions and for over 20 years she has been committed to creating a dental hygiene department that works enthusiastically, creating a high performance teams, improving patients’ total health and consistent profits to the dental practice.

She is an author for journals such as Dentistry Today, HygieneTown and RDH. Debbie speaks internationally about systems and services in the dental hygiene department to create a team that works like a well-oiled machine,  improving the total health of patients’, utilizing the most recent science to prevent disease and consistently increase profits.

In 1984 she graduated from USC in Los Angeles in with a Bachelors Degree in Dental Hygiene. She is a former clinical assistant professor from USC. In 2000-2002 Debbie co-taught the practice management course for the dental students. Debbie is also a former dental hygiene program director for a school in Portland, Oregon where she wrote the accreditation, hired the instructors, purchased all the equipment, worked with project managers on the building of the school while managing a 2 million dollar budget.

Debbie works with dental practices throughout the world and is considered a leader in creating consistent profits to a dental practice through services and systems in the dental hygiene department.

 

Caries Risk Assessment: Saving Dollars for Your Dental Patient Adds Profits to Your Dental Practice

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

July 9, 2013

Tooth Decay

I get excited when a dental office contacts me to be their Dental Practice Management Consultant and recently I had a few offices contact me who were located outside of the United States.

Their reason to call was to have a US Dental Practice Management Consultant implement preventive services for their practice and bring preventive protocols to their practice.

One of the most overlooked areas in a dental practice today is the Caries Risk Assessment. (CAMBRA) It happens a lot that offices do not have a protocol in place to assess and prevent caries. CAMBRA is not new. The California Dental Journal produced two journals dedicated to this topic in October and November 2007 and again in October 2011.

It is very rewarding to be a part of the shift in other countries who have millions upon millions of their population without preventive care services! There are dentists in these countries looking to make a change in their country. Congratulations to these dentists for leading CHANGE!

Caries Risk assessment is one of the areas we can see a huge shift in the underserved populations. With the guidance of a Consultant you will have a turn-key value added system in place to prevent disease and create one more profit center.

(Read below and add your own numbers to see what this means for your practice and profitability.)

What is CAMBRA?

  • CAMBRA assists providers to systematically evaluate caries risk in an individualized manner; children as well as adults.
  • Tailors a specific preventive therapeutic management plan or “care path”;
  • Customizes a restorative plan in conjunction with preventive care; and
  • Supports the dental professional to plan a timely, specific, and appropriate periodicity schedule based on the patients’ caries risk.

To effectively prevent and management the disease of caries, care should begin early, ideally during at age 1 a comprehensive oral exam visit is completed.

Yes, assessment begins very early. Do you tell parents that a child’s first visit is at age 3? NO? Think again.

Here are steps to prevent caries risk:

  1. A caries risk assessment is the first of these critical steps,
  2. Give the provider more information to help them consider the risk and health status of each patient before beginning the exam.
  3. Caries risk assessment provides information pertaining to three specific overarching domains: white spot lesions, decalcification enamel.  defects or other obvious decay in the child.

The information obtained from a caries risk assessment allows the care provider to formulate a caries risk profile for the child, and also an adult. This is an essential first step to determining the prevention and treatment plan, as well as the periodicity of patient follow-up/continuing care visit. (one month, three months, six months, or one year).

The CAMBRA-based dental practice will increase the usage of current preventive products. (Another profit center for your dental hygien department)  The dental practice needs to have these products available to the patient so they can easily improve self-efficacy and begin using these preventive care products immediately.

CAMBRA-based prevention and nonsurgical caries management should lead to a shift away from restorative procedures to procedures focused on prevention and early intervention; cost analysis and development of financial models should show the economic value change the psychology of the dental professional’s messaging style.

Include attractive literature for patients to read in your reception areas and take home with them to learn more about Caries Prevention.

The new CDT codes for CAMBRA will assist in reimbursement for the patient.

In January 2013 the CDT codes were revised and D 1204 and D1203 are no longer used. For the patient who receives a fluoride varnish the insurance billing code will be: D1206.

For adults and children who receive a fluoride other than a varnish the code for billing used will be: D1208.

What does this mean for the profits to your practice?

For patients who are assessed moderate to extremely high risk they will return every 1-3 months for a short appointment to assess biofilm, review home care and diet, provide a fluoride varnish and if the patient will always use a 1.1% Sodium Fluoride each night.

Here is a breakdown of what this may mean for your dental practice and the patient:

 RISK ASSESSED         Interval of Service                          Services                                                                               CDT Code                Fee                 

Mod – Extremely High            1- 3mos                      Biofilm eval, F2 Varnish, eval home-care, 1.1% NaF                D1206, D09999          $  65

Low                                                  6 mos                        Prophy, F2 Varnish                                                                                 D1110, D1206             $135

 

Most offices will enroll at least 100 patients annually into CAMBRA. This above chart can be used to assess your profit potential. (Average practice is approximately 1500 patients)

CAMBRA strategies are implemented with a focus toward prevention and early intervention. Studies should also determine if there is significant practice growth and case acceptance once the patient oral health is improved.

CAMBRA represents best practices and should become the standard of care in disease prevention and treatment.

Debbie Oct 2012
ABOUT 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 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.

Create Raving Fans: Understand the Science of a Solid and Professional Dental Marketing Strategies

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

July 2, 2013

Shopping Cart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consumer experts have studied our buying trends and I believe that if we look at the process of how people buy we will see some similarities how this relates to your patients scheduling and paying for your services.

First, let me be straight forward and I want to be clear that I am not asking you to be Salesey and we do not want our dental patients to feel like we are SELLING them a bill of goods.

What is important to take away from this information is that we are in the business of caring for people. We want to offer our patients dental products and services that create optimal overall health and make them feel good about themselves.

Have you ever noticed that when you go to the grocery store you have a list and you check it twice, but yet, when you are actually checking out you notice you have spent a lot more than you anticipated?

And you may be asking what does shopping at the grocery store have to do with dentistry?!

You can create your own economy by offering specific services to your dental patients. 

Continue reading this to create Raving Fans, understand the Science of a Solid and Professional Dental Marketing Strategies.

  • Do your patients know exactly what services you offer?
  • Do you have a menu of services listed on your website?
  •  Do you educate your patients about the specific types of services you offer them?

AND how can you educate your dental patients about your services in a way that peaks their curiosity and their interest in what you have to offer them?

Have you ever noticed the stand of items next to the check out stand?

You know, that stand you probably thought had nothing you needed?

Did you ever grab something from that stand on your right and you really didn’t need it? What about the gossip magazines on your left of the check out stand?

Ever pick up one of those? I bet you have.

 SUBLIMINAL MESSAGES

There is a subliminal message which occurs while you wait to check out. The grocery industry purposefully puts these stands at the check out counter – to your left and to your right. You know you don’t need those items yet, you are looking at them and maybe you pick up those gossip magazines to read. Then you don’t finish the gossip and end up spending another 3-6 dollars.

HOW TO INCREASE PRODUCTION 20-30% in YOUR DENTAL OFFICE

Research states that these grocery stores sell 20-30% more products JUST from people standing in the check out line.

There really can be a subtle and yet value added sale that occurs with every patient who comes to your website, on-hold phone messages and when they are in your dental office.

This is not a marketing approach but a professional and very caring approach.

If you have your approach down to a science then you will have patients accepting more care, they will return to their dental hygiene appointments on-time and you will see an increase in aesthetic cases as well.

Here are some simple tips to Create Raving Fans:

  1. Offer a menu of services on your website
  2. Offer on-hold messages that educate your patients about your special services. (Examples: Forever White™, Free-Whitening, Six-month Smiles, Invisalign, implants, etc)
  3. Show off your home care products offered in a beautiful showcase in your reception area (Examples: Create a beautiful display of Power Toothbrushes, specialty toothpaste and mouth rinses, etc.)
  4. Show off your beautiful photos of before and after treatment on your patients of record. Display these in your reception area and on your website. (Make sure you have authorization to use patients before and after photos. Make sure these are YOUR photos not a generic photo of another person’s before and after treatment.)
  5. Annually, at the dental hygiene appointment, each patient should complete with the hygienist a smile evaluation.

These are all great ideas to improve your production and have a higher number of excited patients who never thought they could enhance their smile until you introduced your menu of services in a professional approach.

It is also very important to have effective communication in place so every team member on your dental team is aware of what they need to say to enhance the value of your services. Next, it is very important to offer flexible payment arrangements. Once patients feel excited about the changes they can make with their smile and total health, offer a way for patients to pay for this desired treatment.

Next time you are in the grocery store check out line, think about how easily it is to let your mind wander to buy things you never thought you needed but just had to have.

What can you do and say to make patients feel they can’t live without your care and special services?

These are a few tips to create more RAVING FANS when you take a professional approach to sharing the good word about all the valuable services you offer.