July 2, 2013
Last winter, I had the opportunity to spend some extended vacation time in Naples, Florida. I was playing golf with someone I had recently met – a really nice guy from the Boston area – who, when he found out that I was a dentist, shared with me that he had found a great young dentist in Naples and that he was leaving his dentist of long standing up North. “This dentist,” he told me, “could show me my x-rays instantly on his computer and he made a crown for me in one appointment. Although I liked my dentist on a personal level, I realized he was nowhere near as current”. Interesting comments.
A few weeks later, at a large dinner party back home, I overheard another “dentist” story of a similar nature. A woman was raving about her dentist (who actually was a client of mine) and how the office was so up to date with lots of “cool stuff.” Two people listening to the conversation asked if the dentist was taking new patients!
The message is that technology definitely creates a buzz and makes a major impression on your patient base. People today are very savvy and impressionable. You just can’t afford to be complacent and simply maintain the status quo if you intend to keep the loyalty of your patients. And the dental profession of the 21st century has no shortage of fabulous technology to create a WOW experience.
Digital x-rays offer less radiation and can be viewed almost immediately. The ability to manipulate and enlarge images enhances your ability to diagnose – and ultimately sell dentistry.
Florida Probe offers a computer generated voice that “speaks” the results of very accurate periodontal probings. And for some reason, patients believe a machine more than a human being! As the numbers are being announced, a very nice color chart is created on the computer showing quite clearly where the problems are.
Same day crowns with Cerec and E4D use CAD/CAM digital impressions to eliminate the need for gloppy impression material and temporary crowns that can break or dislodge in between appointments. Patients love the idea that they can get their crown in less than two hours and don’t have to come back.
Diagnodent for caries detection is pretty nifty laser technology, and again, patients seem to readily believe a machine more than the dentist. Without question, the word laser equates to high tech – and patients continue to be impressed.
A website is a must, and you certainly will not be considered relevant if you don’t have one. And be sure it is designed so that it can be viewed easily from a smart phone or a tablet.
Appointment reminders by email or text are the natural evolution from a staff member making phone calls. In this day and age, just about everyone texts. Telephone calls are almost obsolete. For many reasons, I am a big fan of Demand Force.
We as dentists certainly understand the clinical value of technolog and make judgments on purchases based on economics and return on investment. My main point is that when making your decisions, please do not overlook or discount the marketing value of technology.
In hundreds of practices over the years, I have seen a direct correlation between the introduction of technology and practice growth. Your patients are constantly evaluating you and your practice– even at a subconscious level. The image you want to promote is relevance – not obsolescence.
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