System selling

Nov. 1, 2003
There is a concept in the business world called "system selling." This means that if you are buying a car, for example, you may also be interested in other things that would upgrade your car and enhance your experience of driving your new car.

Louis Malcmacher, DDS

There is a concept in the business world called "system selling." This means that if you are buying a car, for example, you may also be interested in other things that would upgrade your car and enhance your experience of driving your new car. This applies to things we take for granted such as air conditioning, but then moves up the line to a six-disc CD changer, sunroof, and detailing. Another example would be when you go to buy a new couch. You also are likely to be interested in buying pillows to dress up the couch or make it more comfortable.

The same is true for dentistry. There are a number of things patients can add to make their dental treatment more comfortable and to enhance their experience of dentistry beyond the standard procedure. We typically don't think like that. If we are doing a big crown-and-bridge case, we just want to do the crown and bridge, and when we put the case in, that's the end of it. We also might have the impression that the cost of crown and bridge is so high that the patient may not want to invest in anything further.

These assumptions are wrong. If the patient is investing heavily for dental treatment, then he or she will be very interested in anything that would increase the longevity and maintain the aesthetics of the dental treatment.

Dental system concepts

Two simple concepts come to mind for all big crown-and-bridge cases. First, what about tooth-whitening before treatment? For any veneer case, you will definitely have a much nicer result for several reasons. Porcelain has a natural translucence which is why it is such an ideal material to use for veneers. The natural tooth also has a beautiful translucence. Any time you apply opaquer to the underside of a veneer, you lose the natural light reflection through the porcelain as well as the tooth. This is why you sometimes see veneers with that flat "chiclet" look, because it does not reflect light properly. Second, you can now make the veneers lighter to match the existing teeth after they have been whitened. The same is true with crown and bridge.

Another example of system selling in the crown-and-bridge realm is bruxism appliances. It's been estimated that about one-third of the American population are clenchers and bruxers. You see examples of this everyday in your office. People who come in with broken teeth and little chips and cracks on lower and upper anteriors for no apparent reasons are bruxers. People who have had some crown and bridge done in the past and keep coming in with the complaint that their crowns are getting loose and falling off have commonly thought that the cement was not strong enough when, in fact, the patient is bruxing the crown and loosening it.

Options and upgrades

For every big crown-and-bridge case, we give the patient the options of teeth-whitening and bruxism appliances to upgrade and enhance the dental experience. When a patient is making the big investment for crown and bridge or for a big veneer case, there also is keen interest in how to get a better result and how to maintain the dentistry for a very long time.

System selling is an important concept and should be used and expanded upon in every dental practice. It will help the clinical result as well as the patient's overall satisfaction with the dentistry he or she is going to have. Give your patients the option to upgrade their dentistry and you will see the benefits in your bottom line. In addition, your patients will perceive greater value in you and your practice.

Dr. Louis Malcmacher is an international lecturer and author known for hiscomprehensive and entertaining style.An evaluator for Clinical Research Associates, Dr. Malcmacher is a consultant to the Council on Dental Practice of the ADA. For close to two decades, Dr. Malcmacher has inspired his audiences to truly enjoy practicing dentistry by providing the knowledge necessary for excellent clinical and practice-management skills. His group dental practice has maintained a 45 percent overhead since 1988.For details about his speaking schedule, Dr. Malcmacher can be reached at (440) 892-1810 or via email at [email protected].

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