As a dental implant lead travels along the journey to becoming your patient, one of the most important things you can do to ensure they cross the finish line is to remove the obstacles standing in their way. The road to dental implant treatment contains barriers that feel huge, scary, and threatening for many prospective patients. If you can remove them, they’re much more likely to move forward.
This post takes a close look at these obstacles, so you can learn how to address them. As you learn to help patients overcome obstacles, they will feel understood.
After all, people prefer to buy from others that they know, like, and trust. Nothing builds trust quite like understanding where a patient is coming from, empathizing with them, and offering solutions for their problems.
Let’s take a look at the top five obstacles in our way as a patient considers your case.
We’re all very familiar with dental anxiety in our practices, and perhaps we’ve experienced working with dental phobia. Dental anxiety and phobia can be described as a semi-rational or irrational fear of dentists and dental operations.
Dental anxiety obviously plays a role during all operations, but it comes into particular focus when a patient is considering dental implants.
From a patient perspective, dental implants aren’t a “routine” procedure like a cleaning. Some patients may view surgical implant procedures as invasive. So, dental anxiety and surgical anxiety can create an undercurrent of fear. This is enough for some people to avoid considering treatment for months or years.
The wise response is to address dental anxiety head-on and work through it with your prospective patients. Acknowledge that you understand there may be fear and uncertainty in the process and that it’s perfectly normal. Sometimes, people don’t need rational objections to their concerns. They simply need to feel heard and understood.
Additionally, keep this undercurrent in mind as you learn about and address the other obstacles.
Dental implants represent a major financial decision for most patients, sometimes to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars. That’s a huge commitment.
Most households in the U.S. do not have much breathing room for extra expenses, making this a high-pressure decision on top of the underlying fear. The best thing you can do in order to help with this obstacle is again, to address the fears upfront and let them know about the different options they have. Don’t let the “money question” be an unspoken elephant in the room.
There are also financial strategies that you and your team can show, in order to give the patient more options.
At Driven Dental, we want the practices we work with to gain a $50,000 patient in their first month. This often requires understanding the barrier that money presents and educating prospective patients on the resources available to them.
STOP GENERATING LEADS, GET PATIENTS INSTEAD
Stop chasing unqualified leads and wasting your valuable chairtime. Learn how to fill your operatories with patients who are pre-qualified and serious about moving forward with your high-value treatment.
Risk of Pain
This is slightly different from dental anxiety and dental phobia. While dental anxiety is more on the irrational side, the risk of pain and health complications can be a very rational concern. People often associate both dentistry and surgery with a great deal of pain.
Many are even concerned that a surgery like this could impact their overall health. Some patients may have issues with their heart or blood or have other underlying complications. Others may be concerned that the procedure won’t provide the results they want, but will come with pain nonetheless.
Make sure you educate the patient on the pain that they should expect during recovery, as well as the ways to manage it. Thankfully, recovery doesn’t cause too much pain for most. Make sure the patient knows it.
Failing to See the Value of Implants
When prospective patients weigh up the costs and benefits of the procedure, some may determine that implants cost more than they help. Part of this comes because of the risk to their sense of self. Dental implants can dramatically change a person’s appearance. This is a huge risk factor, especially in our culture. While prospects might not feel confident, they’re used to how they look and might not be ready for a change.
Additionally, they may fear that the procedure leaves them looking even less like how they want to look. Some people who have missing or damaged teeth will avoid social events, or eating in public, in order to hide it. What if a dental implant procedure makes the problem worse?
Finally, we know that implants require some level of maintenance. Infections around dental implants can be much more dramatic and progress faster. Committing to implants requires a life change for some as they rededicate themselves to oral health.
The risk to their appearance and the maintenance may feel like a huge cost without many benefits.
You must learn to talk to prospective patients about the real-world benefits of having implants, and be open about what they will look like. The more pictures and stories of transformation you show them, the better.
Don’t get mired in the technical details. Talk with them about the benefits. And be open about what it looks like.
Finally, someone who has never had dental implants may be very unfamiliar with the process. Dealing with surgery of any kind often means dealing with insurance. Many patients may not understand the procedure or recovery process afterward. These combine to create a major obstacle to sales, known as hassle.
Did you know that for the average consumer in the COVID-19 era, convenience is almost as important as price when it comes to buying decisions?
In fact, many consumers, especially younger ones, would rather pay more for a hassle-free process than pay less for one that requires more hoops to jump through.
Because of the unfamiliarity, our goal is to make our process simple and easy to follow. While an unfamiliar process creates fear and hassle, a familiar process creates ease and warmth. What does your education about the process look like? Consider adding videos, brochures, or other forms of education to explain the dental implant process from start to finish.
The better a patient understands how the process works, the more comfortable they will feel committing to it.
As you learn to address the fears, concerns, and hassle that a prospective patient faces, you will reap the benefits of higher case acceptance. The dental practice with the smoothest journey can expect the most and best patient experiences.
If you want some help designing your process, don’t hesitate to book a free strategy call with our expert team today.