There are several significant, persistent disconnects in the dental profession. These gaps exist because patient needs are different from what the dental profession provides. For example, consider the prevalence of periodontal disease and the level of treatment being provided. Another disconnect exists between the percentage of the US population concerned about the color of their teeth and the percent of offices addressing these concerns. Eighty percent of the population wants whiter teeth,1 but only 10% to 15% of whitening discussions are initiated by dental professionals.2
Sixty-five percent of patients who have tried over-the-counter whitening products are dissatisfied and would not recommend them.2 For many, whiter, brighter smiles are about self-confidence rather than vanity. This desire goes hand in hand with hair coloring and skin care, among other appearance concerns.
The new Philips Zoom Success Guide is an extremely well thought-out, comprehensive guide that addresses the whitening disconnect. The Success Guide maximizes an office's ability to meet the desires of patients for whiter, brighter smiles while adding significantly to the bottom line. The potential revenue is enormous with a very high return on investment. Whitening procedures are among the highest revenue generators in the dental practice, most or all of which can be provided by staff members.
The Philips Zoom Success Guide is organized into four sections, each written in a clear, concise manner. The guide discusses the whitening opportunity, revenue projections, technical aspects of tooth whitening, and types of products for each patient. There is a valuable marketing section broken down into basic, intermediate, and advanced marketing campaigns. The recommendations in the marketing section are practical and include a wealth of promotional materials, suggestions to generate awareness, and simple, cost-effective ways to involve everyone in the office. The last section of the Success Guide includes office initiatives and annual marketing plans, which change seasonally. The Success Guide provides the phone number of a Philips whitening and marketing advisor who can address questions, create a custom whitening calendar, and help you with all aspects of your whitening campaign.
Many simple, impactful suggestions are in the guide, such as assessing the shade of every patient, involving the patient in shade matching,
and recording results in the patient record. Successive visits can determine if the color of the teeth is changing and offer an opportunity to discuss whitening options. Another suggestion is to ask each patient a simple question: "Is there anything you would change about your smile?" This also gives an opportunity to discuss whitening options. There is a recommendation to advise patients to whiten for two weeks prior to restorative work (e.g., crowns, composites, and veneers).
The Philips Zoom Success Guide is a comprehensive handbook of marketing materials, strategies, and helpful resources designed to increase whitening revenue for dental practices.
In the guide, the Endless Whitening Program offers unique ideas to increase patient satisfaction, patient loyalty, referrals and practice revenue. The marketing recommendations go far beyond a fishbowl full of "Free whitening!" coupons.
The Philips Zoom Success Guide is best used as a working resource rather than a reference tool. There are a number of ways to implement its suggestions and maximize results by getting everyone in the office involved. One way to accomplish this, as the guide suggests, is by whitening everyone's teeth in the office. Because team members have their own relationships with patients, when all team members have whitened teeth, it reassures the patient who is considering whitening.
Some offices distribute the guide to each staff member for individual review. Others discuss a section at a time at successive staff meetings with team members. One effective strategy is to designate a whitening champion in the office who will drive logistics, make an annual plan, and get you started!
Your patients have the desire for whiter, brighter teeth, and the dental profession is in the best position to deliver the results they want. Plus, practice revenue increases considerably in the process. There are many professional whitening options available. However, the Philips Zoom Success Guide is evidence of the commitment Philips has to individual practices. Make today the first day your office starts closing your whitening gaps.
1. Mintel Oral Care research report. United States survey. May 2013.
2. Philips Oral Healthcare Market Intelligence & Priorities Research. January 2014 Research Archives.
Richard H. Nagelberg, DDS, has practiced general dentistry in suburban Philadelphia for 33 years. He has also provided dental services in Thailand, Cambodia, and Canada. He is cofounder of PerioFrogz.com, an information services company. He is an advisory board member, speaker, key opinion leader, and clinical consultant for several dental companies and organizations.