In the past year, I have visited my Dentist, my Estate Attorney for some family business and Revocable Living Trust stuff. I also had my yearly meeting with my financial guy.
The Estate Attorney: “I need to know if there are any immediate changes you need to make to your will and any changes you want to make to your Revocable Living Trust? There were. “I also want to know who your beneficiaries were … any changes?” There was. “Who is the executor of your will … any changes with this?” There was. “How do you want to take care of your heirs in the event of your death?” Some changes here, too.
So, she was doing her job. Taking care of me, short term issues and long-term planning.
The Certified Financial Planner: “So, what does your immediate portfolio look like and how much are you able to fund your retirement? I told him. “I need to know your risk tolerance for investing, too.” Not too risky, please. “We will look at your long-term financial goals and I also want to know your life-style goals for retirement and create a plan to meet them.”
So, he was doing his job. Taking care of me, short term issues and long-term planning.
The Dentist: “I can fix that tooth on the top right for you today, get your teeth cleaned and you’ll be good to go.” “Your insurance still with Delta?” “God, see you in 6 months.”
Are you struck by a new thought? I was.
Not every profession is satisfying. Not every dentist is happy with their position in life. Making a difference in someone’s life can be sooooo powerful.
We have the power to make people healthier …
We have the power to make people more attractive …
This power is invisible. Folks come to us to bask in this power.
This invisible power … is trust.
Sure, you’re doing the right thing for your patients in the hygiene chair. You’re cleaning their teeth, checking for oral cancer, checking for cavities … the usual stuff. It’s National Dental Hygiene Month … so, we should be promoting fresh breath, strong teeth, and healthy gums … more usual stuff.
But, how are you celebrating your hygienist? You don’t have to wait till that week in April that is set aside to celebrate the hygienist. Do it now. It’s part of marketing your practice.
Its internal marketing.
Your hygienist is THE most powerful resource you have in your practice. She deserves some recognition this month.
Is your hygienist marketing your services/favorite procedures in her chair? Or is she just cleaning teeth?
It’s the three R’s for the hygienist (no … it’s not Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic).
The three R’s are … Recognizing, Recording and Recommending … and not just recession, bleeding points and other periodontal concerns. She will be an HUGE asset if she is co-diagnosing fractures in teeth/open contacts/marginal discrepancies/cosmetic concerns/occlusal wear concerns/ … and ortho/sleep apnea/etc. … the list goes as far as your services that you provide.
If she is following the hygiene three R’s, you have done a good job with her education. If not … why not?
Is your only proposal for treatment presentation occurring at the new patient appointment? It’s a dreadful limitation to your growth if you think so.
The hygiene appointment is a great marketing opportunity. Beware … if the patient gets too comfortable with the “just here to get my teeth cleaned” routine of the hygiene appointment … it could also be the mindset of your hygienist, not just the patient.
This month is National Dental Hygiene month. Offer your hygienist the gift of education to help her career and to help her patients.
BTW: you and the business also benefit.
So, leave your comment below … I look at ALL of them. And be sure to follow us on social media for more tips to improve the health of your patient, your practice, and YOUR paycheck.
I just explained my plan for treatment to a new patient this morning.
I didn’t do a great job on my homework or case presentation for this patient. She left confused and wanted it all down on paper. I could have done better. I should have done better … for her. She’s questioning. I got no commitment.
I know, I know … I’ve got to eliminate any confusion when I have their attention. I’ve got to have the answers. I’ve got to diagnose, digest and present a clear solution because they don’t know the questions to ask.
And, they won’t chase you to get them. You lose.
We like new patients. We like getting more new patients. Not the emergency kind of new patient, but, the kind of person that comes in and wants to keep their teeth healthy.
And, everybody is different.
A). Some new patients are going to want to know how long the procedure is going to take? They want to get ‘in and out’ of your office … get everything over with! They don’t want to know anything else!
B). Some new patients want to know other things. They wonder where the money’s coming from for all of the work the dentist is going to find?
C). Some new patients want to know exactly what you are doing to them. You know, they lay there with their mouth wide open in submission. They’ve given up control of their body and that’s an uncomfortable place to be. They’re afraid. So, when you’re working on a patient, tell them what you are doing … so they don’t have to wonder “what the hell’s going on?”
And we wonder why some people fear the dentist!?
It’s not always about physical pain. Sometimes it’s about laying there and surrendering control. Relinquishing your power.
And the lack of personal control is agony. Isn’t it?
Give some control back to your patient. Talk with B). and C).
Got an email yesterday and the headline was …
Maximize your patient flow to maximize your profit. I thought … “you want me to add more patients to my schedule?”
It went on …
The more patients you can see in a day, the more efficient and, of course, profitable you will be. I’m thinking … “Really, you can’t be serious!!!”
I’m supposed to add more patients to my daily schedule, stress my staff, add more capacity, more of everything to see more patients in a day. I’m supposed to work harder and see and service more patients each and every day. And I’m supposed to pay THESE GUYS so they can tell me how to work my ass off for a bit more money and more overhead.
NO! This is backwards to what we teach. No “you don’t need to see more patients each day”. No “you don’t need more capacity.”
I want to work on 6 patients a day, see 8 hygiene patients, reach production goal on the doctor’s side (in the morning … think about THAT for a minute), and, WORK LESS!!!
No increase in overhead. No need to think that you need to flood your office with a bunch of new patients to be more profitable. Just improve your systems and strategies with the number of new patients that you are currently getting … and increase your production. Less is more! You’ve heard THAT before. Do you believe it?
Or, do you believe the guys who are trying to work you to death … and you just pay them to tell you how. No.
Less is more.
Yes … we are now offering CE credit hours with all of our courses, workshops, meetings, coaching on-site visits, and webinars. That’s a lot!
Stay up with the latest on Dentistry for Whole Body Health and get your CE credits at the same time.
Watch for our upcoming webinars.
As always, we are here to serve you.
Thanks for that privilege, Peter
Your hygiene patient complains about the cost of the filling (or crown) you are recommending for her broken tooth! Money is a problem. You need a persuasive verbal skill. It has to be short.
Some dentists have gone to HMOs and PPOs trying to get and keep patients by lowering fees. We think so little of the value of our services. (BTW – the low-cost dealer is in a race to the bottom, and if you win the race – you lose).
So … the verbal skill for hygiene patient’s dentistry goes: “Leslie, is there anything in your life that you paid $69 in 1998 and you’ve used 3 times a day that is worth that much?”
They ‘get it’ … It’s an investment.
I remember the days when we were a branch of the healing arts … it wasn’t so long ago. Now, we practice “evidence based” dentistry. Physicians can break down your DNA code and prescribe a medication to fit your genome.
The healing part of the health professions is now all around us, based on science. The healing comes from our procedures. They have been honed over so many decades. We know the best practices. Every instrument sterilized. Every protocol perfected. Every system refined.
We value the science. We value the ‘modus operandi’. We value the engineering.
But, what have we lost over the decades? We are losing the value of the ‘arts’ of our profession. Make no mistake, it has roots in best practices.
Even though you can count on a healing procedure to work almost every time, the ‘arts’ part might not work.
The ‘arts’ part is the practice of kindness, compassion and empathy with our dental care. It is not evidenced based dentistry! It is not a billable procedure. Ignore it if you want to … but, learn it first.
Dr. Peter Evans is a practitioner, author, speaker and international dental coach. He is the President of The BioCompatible Dentist, LLC