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Increasing Second Visit Treatment Consultations – Strategy #5 for Successful Dental Practices to Grow and Profit in 2018

January 31, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mayer A. Levitt, DMD @ 3:35 am

People like choices. But people like to buy – they don’t like to be sold. You need to understand this concept when presenting dental treatment.  Too often I see clinicians trying to present complex  treatment at a continuing care examination in the Hygiene room or when a patient is seen for an emergency visit.  We define treatment as being accepted when the patient has scheduled the first visit and has agreed to a payment option. Using this criteria, the results are poor – for many reasons:

• It takes time to analyze, price out, and plan out multiple treatment plans – how could you possibly do that effectively in five or six minutes? You can’t – and when you try, you mess up your schedule, the hygiene schedule,  and you end up frustrated when the patient doesn’t agree or say okay.

• You do not have adequate time to understand or estimate dental insurance benefits that might be available and that might apply or not apply to treatment recommendations.

• You do not have time to review photographs or x-rays or diagnostic casts.

• If you do try to present a fee, the patient may often be overwhelmed with the costs.

So why do doctors act in this fashion?

1. Anxiety over filling an open time slot for treatment rather than investing in a “non-productive” half hour for discussion of treatment options.

2. Trying to strike while the iron is hot. Get the patient appointed quickly for fear that the patient might change his or her mind.

3. Dollar per hour production goals. Especially for associate doctors who are paid as a percentage of adjusted production or collections. When you invite a patient back for a 30 minute visit to explain treatment options, it is usually a no charge visit. Failure to recognize the value of time spent in this fashion is an incredibly penny wise/pound foolish approach.

All second visit treatment consultations are not equal. There are three specific situations and they all need to be handled differently.

1. Emergency treatment when palliative procedures were administered to relieve pain or discomfort.

2. Cosmetic treatments which most of the time are elective procedures.

3. New patient initial exams – either as part of a Hygiene appointment or as a first visit with a doctor.

Over the next few weeks,  I will explain the strategies and details involved for all three situations. In my experience, the absolute best way to gain acceptance for quadrant and arch dentistry is by the utilization of second visit consultations. By definition, more acceptance of those treatment plans will increase growth and profitability in your practice.



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