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A Three Step Approach to Adding Implants to Your General Practice

Are you missing important business opportunities and practice builders? Do you know that studies have shown 75% of your patients would choose implants over traditional replacements for missing teeth, such as bridges and dentures and that 69% of your patients would be upset if they had chosen traditional dentistry and that their dentist had not discussed implants.

Your patients cannot see or feel bone loss from missing teeth until it affects them on an emotional level such as lifestyle factors and esthetics. Studies suggest that tooth loss affects not only physical health, but psychological well being. Tooth loss forces lifestyle changes to those who suffer from it and can negatively affect a patient’s esteem, self confidence and ability to properly chew and digest food.

As dentists, you know that bone loss changes the facial contour, affects eating and digestion, causes additional strain on the joints, and so on, but your patients don’t know the risks and consequences of bone loss caused by missing teeth. They expect their dental professional to tell them and that is why they came to your office to receive your best possible diagnosis and treatment.
Studies have shown that most people are not aware of the major consequence of tooth loss. Among those consumers who knew about dental implants, only 45% knew about the relationship between tooth loss and bone loss. More importantly, 75% of the respondents who had chosen traditional dentistry (bridges, partials and dentures) to replace missing teeth reported that they would have opted for implant treatment if they had understood the bone loss implications associated with tooth loss. An eye opener from this survey is that 69% of the respondents said that they would be upset and if discovered that their dental professionals had not discussed the implant solution.

Empower Yourself – Make a Positive Assumption and then Make a Positive Assertion

It is safe to assume that your patients have come to your office expecting a complete diagnosis and treatment plan. They expect their health care provider to offer what is in their best interest, regardless of cost and unrestricted by insurance concerns. It is up to the health care provider to make a positive assertion, “in my opinion, this is what you should do…”

Dentistry is a relationship business built on trust. Your patients deserve and demand to know all of their options when making treatment decisions. They expect you to recommend what is best for their health, function and comfort and that your recommendations are not clouded by prejudgments.

Empower Your Patients
Empower your patients to make optimal treatment choices by making it easy for them to see the benefits of treatment and the ability to proceed. Provide financing options that are truly interest free and do not transfer the doctor-patient relationship to that of a third party. It’s easy to do . The advantages of offering your own internal financing are:
• It increases your patients’ ability to accept treatment
• It’s an excellent marketing tool – you are offering a true “interest free” loan
• It improves cash flow to practice
• Reduces accounts receivable
• Most importantly, it maintains your relationship with your patient.
Offering your patients options and alternatives, helps them to feel that they are getting what they want accomplished and that they have an impact on the way things turn out.

Empower your team

As dental implant treatment becomes a bigger part of your practice, the roles of your team members will grow and change. They need the clinical knowledge to help the doctor and advise patients, since they are often the “go to” person for patients’ questions. We all know that patients trust the team and are sometimes afraid to ask questions of the doctor. Every team member can be very instrumental in the growth of the practice when they learn to communicate the benefits of implants so effectively that case acceptance increases. They become even more valuable employees.

Provide your team with the tools to work with such as coding sheets, pricing, a template of appointment times and communication keys. Every team member should be ready to answer difficult questions with great answers. This will involve training and practice. If you wish to obtain a copy of “How to Answer Difficult Implant Questions with Great Answers” send an email to sandie@dentalofficeconsulting.com with the subject line difficult questions.

Dental implants can change the lives of patients, improve the quality of life for denture patients and elevate your practice to a new level. This business plan approach will help you to empower yourself, empower your patients and empower your team to reach new heights of clinical and financial success.

References – Straumann Canada Limited
Institute for Dental Implant Awareness, 1999

About author
Sandie Baillargeon is a leading authority on how to increase the effectiveness of medical and dental business systems. Ms. Baillargeon is author of two text books, Dental Office Administration and The Canadian Dental Office Administrator, published by ITP Nelson Canada. Sandie is the owner and operator of Dental Office Consulting Services, which specializes in dental business planning, staff development, consulting and continuing education seminars. Visit her website at www.dentalofficeconsulting.com or contact her directly at (905) 336-7624.
2 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Most of the dentist offers both dental bridges and dental implants to patients with missing teeth. The goal is to restore the patients mouth to normal function, comfort, esthetics, speech and health. But generally speaking, if a patient have lost teeth they are a candidate for dental implants, but it will all depend on the health condition of a patient if it’s right for them. That’s why there are still plenty of options to choose from such as bridges and dentures to replace a missing tooth. We know that dental implants provide a better solution and offer a far superior alternative to dentures but the cost in most of the countries are far too high for middle class patients to afford it.

  2. Yes! Very correctly, depending upon the bone structure left into a jawbone, suitable dental surgery should be prescribed by the dentists. After all, it is ones’ facial contour, eating ability and probabilities of additional strains on joints from bites or pressures that would ever expect the treatments with much stability and efficiency in look and functions.

    Dental implants would always weigh more over any other traditional dental procedures like teeth crown, dental bridges or dentures, of course varying as per the necessity of treatments and the structures being damaged to particular extents!

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