Blow the Roof off Usual and Customary Dentistry, Part II
By Dr. Tom “The Gems Guy” Orent
HOW TO BUILD AN IRON WALL AROUND YOUR NEW PATIENTS
If you’ve not yet read Part I, I’d recommend going back to the October 2018 issue now and reading the cover article before you read this. Doing so will help you get the most out of the Gem and your practice. In the last issue, I talked about the exodus of new patients running out my back door. It began (not coincidentally) shortly after I finished one of the major well-known continuums in which they teach us to diagnose, plan, and discuss everything we see when first meeting new patients. I’ve heard from dozens of our members who’ve experienced the same issue. These advanced restorative and occlusion courses teach us how to perform amazing clinical dentistry. But they don’t prepare us for the real world … what happens when we tell an asymptomatic new patient she needs $20,000, $30,000, or even $50,000 in dentistry when all she thought she needed was “a cleaning and a checkup.” WHICH NEW PATIENTS ARE LIKELY TO ACCEPT RECOMMENDED CARE … EVEN WHEN THEY MUST REACH DEEP INTO THEIR WALLETS TO PAY FOR THAT CARE? If your new patient presents with teeth #8 and #9 fractured in half and bleeding from the pulp … if she tells you that she has an important meeting at work late this afternoon … how difficult is it to get acceptance of #8 and #9 endo, core (or flexible fiber post, etc.), and crowns? The answer is that your patient isn’t leaving your office until you perform the endo and at least get the provisional crowns in place … almost irrespective of the fee. But what if your new patient has no symptoms, just moved from the next state, and tells you she liked her hometown dentist of 25 years … and that he told her six months ago everything was fine? Meanwhile, upon exam, you see a mouth full of decades-old large amalgams with wide-open margins. How do you think she’ll react during her first visit to your practice if you tell her everything you see and recommend the best possible restorative care? What will she say if you suggest $20,000 of inlays, onlays, and crowns? After all, you’re only telling her what you see
and what you truly believe to be in her best interests. Heck, clearly her hometown dentist wasn’t doing her any favors by not telling her she needed this care. Right? If you’re in the 1 percent of superhuman dentists who have the gift and ability to meet brand-new asymptomatic patients and convince them of the need for extensive major restorative care, stop reading and go on to the next article. But if you’re a mere mortal dentist like the rest of us, what I’m about to reveal might very well radically improve your new patient retention and acceptance of best-option, long-term rehabilitative care. This Gem will help you maximize both your patients’ health and your dental practice revenue. TELL ‘EMWHAT THEY WANT TO HEAR AND THEY’LL STAY WITH YOU. BUT … IS IT ETHICAL (EVEN CREDIBLE?) NOT TO TELL THEMWHAT WE SEE?
In Part I, I alluded to the results of the Mercedes study, in which they determined it takes six positive interactions before a new client,
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