Did you know that September is Dental Implant Awareness Month? On September 1, 2018, the American Academy of Implant Dentistry initiated an annual celebration of dental implants by patients and practice owners alike.
They celebrated the life-changing benefits dental implants can have on patients. And they cheered the tremendous impact building a dental implant practice can have on practice owners. Of course, at Driven Dental Implant Marketing, we probably don’t have to tell you how much we agree with the American Academy of Implant Dentistry about all the reasons even general dentists should start placing implants.
Amid all the excitement, it’s important for any practice owner looking to start placing implants to know the dirty little secret nobody talks about when you learn to place implants. Are you ready? Here you go.
Most implant patient leads can't afford to move forward.
If you’re an implant dentist, all the reps and vendors talk about how great the market is for dental implants. They tout how many millions of people are missing teeth. That’s true. the American College of Prosthodontists estimates that 178 Million Americans are missing at least one tooth and about 40 Million are missing all of their teeth.
They talk about how all of those people desperately want and need the life-changing effects they can experience from getting dental implants. That’s true, too. We don’t have to tell you how implants build people’s confidence, restore their smile, and bring their mouths back to full health.
With those two factors in play, reps, vendors, and others looking to profit on more dentists placing implants position dental implants as a pot of gold for dental practices. Theoretically, that would be true. You have a market of 178 Million people and virtually all of them would rather not be missing teeth. In practice, however, there’s a huge obstacle to patients moving forward: the affordability of dental implants. Most people who want and need implants don’t have a pile of money lying around to pay for them. The only way to build a successful implant practice is for the practice to help people overcome this obstacle. Here’s how, in two simple steps.
Use traditional and out-of-the-box financing strategies to help patients afford their care.
If you know most patients can’t afford care, the simple solution is to find ways to help patients overcome the financing obstacle. For example, you could use in-house financing like Compassionate Finance to help fit care into their budgets. You could help them secure healthcare lending, peer-to-peer lending, and many other financing strategies to help patients pay for dental implants. You could even create a list of out-of-the-box ways to pay for dental implants.
When helping patients afford their dental implants, focus on helping them fit the monthly payment into their budget. A patient is much more likely to move forward with a $200 per month plan where they pay $5,000 in total than they would a $500 per month payment where they pay $4,000 in total. Thus, having multiple ways for patients to spread out the cost of their treatment without reducing the fee you earn, is key.
Prequalify all implant patient leads before scheduling chair time for them.
With your phone ringing and financing options in place, the final step to overcoming the dirty little secret the implant world doesn’t talk about is to protect your schedule by prequalifying leads before you book them for an appointment. This reduces no-shows and avoids wasting everyone’s time (and your money).
If you fill up your chair with implant patient leads who have no ability to move forward with treatment, everyone loses. You waste your valuable time examining a patient who has no ability to move forward with treatment. You would be better off spending that time working on your business or getting away from the office. And you waste the opportunity to use that chair time performing treatment you will be paid for.
Your patient lead loses, too. If they’re in your chair, they both need and want treatment. But without the ability to move forward with treatment, they’re just wasting their time. Not only that but they are also likely going to get their hopes up and let down when they realize they can’t afford to pay.
Here’s how to prequalify leads: Have someone get on the phone with your lead. Make sure they are educated about dental implants and knowledgeable about your dental implant financing options. They also need top-notch bedside manners.
Once they’re on the phone, have them answer questions about implants, the process, and what makes your practice a great place. Then, have them assess how likely a patient is to move forward and discuss financing. You could even prequalify them for financing. Some practices choose to take a refundable deposit for the consult to ensure they show up.
Are you ready to build a high-profit implant practice?
Do you want to build a high-value implant practice where everyone wins? If so, you cannot just rely on the hype you’re sold about the millions of leads. You also need to have financing options and prequalify patient leads to avoid wasting time and money.
At Driven Dental Implant Marketing, we know how important these two additional steps are. That’s why we don’t just help our clients attract a steady flow of implant patient leads every month. We also help them put financing in place to help overcome the dirty little secret of affordability. And we even have a team of highly trained dental implant scheduling coordinators we have trained to represent your practice well while prescreening and prequalifying leads through our Virtual Patient Advocate program.
Our Virtual Patient Advocates are highly-trained treatment coordinators. They have a deep understanding of behavioral change and a high level of emotional intelligence. They also have the coaching skills needed to deliver only qualified and engaged leads to your practice. To find out how we can help you attract leads and even help prequalify them for you, book a strategy call today before we are full.