Skyrocket profitability by satisfying patients' wants

It is a well-known fact that people will often find a way to afford something they want before something they need.

by Richard J. DePaul Jr., DDS

For more on this topic, go to www.dentaleconomics.com and search using the following key words: orthodontics, cosmetic dentistry, profitability, treatment planning.

It is a well-known fact that people will often find a way to afford something they want before something they need. You see examples of this every day in your dental office. Patients will delay receiving a crown on a tooth because they want to go on vacation. They will find a way to afford tooth whitening, but ask if they can wait to complete their restorative work. Straight teeth and a beautiful smile are things patients want, so they are far more likely to find a way to afford it.

In our office, the biggest wants-based procedure is Powerprox Six Month Braces® (PPSMB). This is a cosmetic orthodontic procedure geared more toward anterior cosmetic correction in adult patients than skeletal and occlusal change in young patients.

Focusing on the goal of giving patients a great smile quickly instead of performing time-consuming changes to their existing, stable, posterior occlusion allows for a very predictable treatment that is highly profitable.

To help doctors visualize the goals of treatment, we tell them to view PPSMB as "orthodontic veneers." The goal of both porcelain veneers and PPSMB is to give your patient a great smile. Instead of preparing teeth and bonding porcelain, we move the teeth to their most beautiful position. We have the same end goal in mind - a great smile - but we just take two different roads to get there.

With three levels of courses, we run the gamut from teaching doctors who have never placed a bracket all the way up to orthodontists with decades of experience. This technique is learned more easily than comprehensive orthodontic treatment geared toward children. PPSMB is easy to learn and requires no previous orthodontic experience.

Continuing in full-time practice allows me to come up with new developments that enhance PPSMB. Being an "in the trenches" dentist, just like all the doctors we teach, gives us the clinical experience to learn what works and what doesn't. Capitalizing on this experience, we can teach our students to select the proper cases to treat and know which ones to refer. This experience reduces the learning curve so dentists can provide stellar treatment to their patients immediately after learning the procedure.

We offer complete support for dentists who take my courses after they return to their practices. Every course comes with a membership to our doctor Web site, www.PowerproxDocs.com. This site offers education, marketing, and case support for doctors providing PPSMB. There is also an abundance of additional educational material - some brand-new material, as well as information from the five books I have written on cosmetic orthodontics. Case support is also available with our online study club, via phone or e-mail.

PPSMB creates a huge marketing advantage for your practice. This is a procedure that patients want. When you offer a service that patients want in conjunction with a fast treatment time, you can dramatically increase not only your orthodontic cases but also your overall new-patient flow for general and cosmetic dentistry. As you create a powerful marketing niche with this service, you will differentiate your practice from the others, assuring maximum profitability.

Many patients have neglected their teeth for years. They have numerous periodontal and restorative needs that must be taken care of prior to placing their braces. They will now be motivated to get their mouths healthy so they can reach their ultimate goal of a great smile.

PPSMB is a very powerful general and cosmetic dentistry practice-builder. You can increase the amount of cosmetic dentistry you perform because these patients are cosmetically oriented. They will want whitening; others will want to bond or veneer chipped teeth after braces; and still others will want to replace their amalgams with more esthetic tooth-colored restorations.

This success can occur even when battling a tough economy. We have been quite successful in a geographical area that has had a horrible economic climate for the last 15 to 20 years. In fact, our hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, was voted the most miserable city in the United States by Forbes magazine in 2010. If we can increase practice profitability in our miserable area, anyone can do it anywhere!

Richard J. DePaul Jr., DDS, developed Powerprox Six Month Braces®. He is well-known for his ability to demystify orthodontic treatment, making it easy to learn and implement. He can be reached at (440) 646-1000, www.SixMonthBraces.com, or www.PowerproxDocs.com.

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