Don't fry their brains: Part 3

Dec. 2, 2010
Dental teams don't mean to fry their patients' brains. But they do it nonetheless by making their comprehensive case acceptance processes so confusing.

Nate Booth, DDS

For more on this topic, go to and search using the following key words: comprehensive case acceptance, crispy craniums, dental care agreement, Dr. Nate Booth.

Dental teams don't mean to fry their patients' brains. But they do it nonetheless by making their comprehensive case acceptance processes so confusing. This is the third in a series of articles designed to serve as the fire extinguisher for all the crispy craniums that are created from this confusing experience.

In the first "Don't fry their brains" article, you learned how to discuss comprehensive care one area at a time. The four areas are periodontal, restorative, replacement, and cosmetic. In the second article, you learned how to discuss proposed care in each care area using the PCSB method (problems, consequences, solutions, and benefits).

Today, you will learn a two-step process for gaining approval of treatment plans. The steps are what and how:First, patients decide what they want to do. Second, they decide how to pay for it.

Step 1 – What

I recommend using a Dental Care Agreement (DCA) to visually complement your words. A sample DCA is shown on the right. The first section of the DCA is Care Covered by this Agreement. It summarizes the proposed care in the four care areas mentioned. The second section reviews the Investment Estimate.

Maria needs to know her investment before she can make the decision to proceed. An excellent way to state the investment fee is, "Maria, the investment to complete this care is $10,795, or about $311 per month if you want to spread it out over time. Is this the quality of care you would like to have?"

If she doesn't accept this treatment plan, you can offer her another, lower investment with a revised DCA. In a clothing store, you wouldn't try on a coat unless you first checked the price tag, right? The same principle applies to case acceptance. When there is no knowledge of price, no decision is probable.

Step 2 – How

The third section of the DCA is Investment Options. Here you present four different investment options. Notice that dollar figures are included for clarity. After you have discussed the financial options, ask Maria, "Which option works best for you?"

Dental Care Agreement

Maria – December 10, 2010

Care Covered by this Agreement

  • Periodontal – four-visit periodontal therapy program
  • Restorative – three crowns and onlays
  • Replacement – two implants and crowns
  • Cosmetic – whitening
  • Other – none

Investment Estimate

  • Estimated care fee – $11,595
  • Estimated Insurance – $800
  • Estimated Balance – $10,795

Investment Options

  • 5% accounting courtesy when paid in advance – $540 courtesy leaving a $10,255 balance
  • Visa, MasterCard, AmEx
  • No-interest plan – 18 months at $600 per month
  • Extended pay plan – 48 months at $311 per month

Signed with date by responsible party
Signed with date by office representative

If you combine the what and how decisions into one step, this may overload people's brains to the point of spontaneous combustion. And a mind is a terrible thing to waste.

To receive a complimentary Word document of the Dental Care Agreement, or for more information on Dr. Booth's 75-minute, interactive "Yes" System webinar that you can attend from the comfort of your home, e-mail [email protected] or call (702) 444-1362.

Dr. Nate Booth is a speaker, consultant, and author who provides dentists with the information and systems they need to thrive in their dental practices. He is the creator of the in-office, DVD based program, The "Yes" System. For more information, go to, or call (702) 444-1362.

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