Give them what they want

May 1, 2011
In today's economic climate, constant change is the norm in dentistry. With the current state of economic flux comes new realities - nowadays, what we dentists do is mostly optional. Although the focus of my practice is TMJ, full-mouth cases, and other extensive restorative work, I fully recognize that I need to adapt to the economics and offer other services.

Arthur A. Tomaro, DDS

For more on this topic, go to www.dentaleconomics.com and search using the following key words: whitening, Zoom, marketing, restorations, veneers, diastemas, Dr. Arthur Tomaro.

In today’s economic climate,constant change is the norm in dentistry. With the current state of economic flux comes new realities — nowadays, what we dentists do is mostly optional. Although the focus of my practice is TMJ, full-mouth cases, and other extensive restorative work, I fully recognize that I need to adapt to the economics and offer other services. If you are doing dentistry the same way you did five years ago, you may want to look at making some changes.

Also more evident is the need to educate your team. Your team members are your best marketing partners for both new and established patients. It has been suggested that it costs several thousand dollars in marketing to gain just one new patient. The staff must have a basic knowledge of every procedure you offer so they can answer questions and instill confidence in patients. No one, not even the receptionist, can ever afford to say, “I don’t know.”

Everyone on the team can play an active role in discovering what your patients want. New patient interviews and smile questionnaires can determine which treatments patients are interested in learning more about. You must ask, “How happy are you with your smile? Finances aside, what would you like to accomplish with your smile?”

If they can’t afford the restorative work required to meet their dreams, giving them a whiter smile during an office visit will get them one step closer to realizing their goals. I’ve learned that patients don’t ask about tooth whitening if we don’t ask them, “Are you happy with the color of your teeth?”

How valuable is whitening?

It is estimated that consumers spend close to $1 billion annually on teeth whitening, and it’s up for grabs. A whitening ad may result in 10 new patients. A Web-based “coupon of the day” may result in hundreds. But more importantly, a solid whitening program’s success lies in the fact that it typically leads to additional restorative work such as veneers, closing diastemas, adjusting the gum line, or instant orthodontics.

Your team needs to know that a whiter smile is a key factor in many facets of patients’ lives. A smile is the universal nonverbal communication. It can open career opportunities, improve personal relationships, and boost social confidence. The whole office must believe in whitening. The benefits of whitening are perhaps the easiest to understand, especially if your office finds a company that provides all the necessary tools.

Marketing and patient education materials are keys to a successful whitening program. That’s why we provide Zoom (Discus Dental). It is clinically proven to be one of the quickest methods for whitening teeth up to eight shades in one visit, and the support the company provides is unsurpassed.

Let your team define how they want to promote whitening so they are all invested in the process. Patients need to know what products you carry in your office and why. Your team should be prepared to answer questions such as “Why can’t I just do strips?” Having a complete understanding of the whitening choices and the benefits of in-office whitening versus over-the-counter whitening will go a long way toward everyone, including patients, appreciating the level of care you offer.

Additionally, because patients often complain their teeth are sensitive after whitening, they need to be prepared for this and given the solution to sensitivity in advance. Everything your office does must have a factor of simplicity.

There is no better practice marketing than patients with new smiles whose friends and families say wow! Today, saving the patient time is as important as providing the most effective treatment. Let’s give them what they want with a whitening system proven to attract patients, provide results, and help grow your practice.

Dr. Tony Tomaro focuses on restorative, esthetic, and TMD dentistry. Renowned for his quality and expertise, other dentists choose him for their treatment. He is also cofounder of Principle Base Dentistry International, a live-patient treatment course and lecture series that he presents to dentists nationally and internationally. Reach him at [email protected].

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