Practice Building Potential: Whitening Brightens More Than Your Patients? Smiles

Author : Dental Product Shopper
Published Date 10/07/2011
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Practice Building Potential: Whitening Brightens More Than Your Patients? Smiles

When you think of boosting your practice, you most likely think of new patients, better marketing, and good referrals. Have you thought of giving your community a better sense of some of the services you want to offer more of? If you like offering whitening services, for example, why not start viewing that as a front door into your practice. Think of whitening services as having practice building potential!

Teeth whitening is incredibly popular among a broad range of individuals, including your current or potential patients. As the boomer generation ages, many are choosing to maintain their fitness, personal grooming, and attractiveness. Hair color and hair restorations, vision enhancement, and cosmetic surgery are all common practice. Teeth whitening is one more service dentists can provide to help patients look and feel their best.

The Team Approach

As a practice builder, teeth whitening should be a no-brainer. Virtually every patient is a good candidate for some form of whitening. However, as with many aspects of practice management, your success will depend on communication and your team?s commitment to and understanding of the goal and their role in achieving it.

Create job descriptions for each team member so that everyone knows what his or her responsibilities are. Follow this with appropriate training and practice so that they are comfortable and confi dent when talking about whitening with patients.

Another way to get your team involved is to whiten their teeth. It?s a great way to show patients the difference a whiter smile can make, and it?s also a great way to advertise the service to your current patients. To help bring new patients in the door, many new practices offer some form of complimentary whitening to attract patients; established practices have used offers of complimentary whitening to bring in new patients.

Market and Educate

Before and after photographs?Display these photographs throughout the office, including treatment rooms and consultation rooms. These images also can be stored in albums for use at civic and community education presentations. In addition, send patients a of copy their personal before and after photos with a thank you note. If the law allows in your state, send this note and photos to the patient?s workplace along with your business cards and ask for referrals.

Patient education videos?These educational tools help patients ?visualize? the end results of the recommended whitening treatment. To stimulate interest and appropriate questions about whitening options, a team member can show the video to the patient before the consultation with the dentist.

Imaging?The advanced use of imaging tools is making the ?art? of visualization a significant reality. When a patient cannot only see the possibilities, but can see them in their own mouth, excitement, motivation, and acceptance are accelerated. We recommend a digital case presentation (DCP) so the patient can fully understand the possibilities of the whitening differences you could make for them. These pictures and recommendations, set to music with your logo and consistent practice messaging, are like a personalized patient education video. If the DCP is taken home for viewing, make a follow-up call to inquire about the family response and to schedule a consultation to discuss the whitening options.

Questions?At the new patient examination, ask how the patient feels about his or her smile. Examples of appropriate questions would be: ?How do you feel about the appearance of your teeth?? or ?If you could change anything about your smile, what would you change??

Brochures?Professionally produced brochures are educational tools and should be placed chairside or in the consultation room. Individualize the ?teaching? of whitening procedures. For example, ?Cathy, take a look at this brochure that explains the procedures I?m recommending specifi cally for you.? When you?re addressing whitening, be prepared to explain how your services are different than what they might fi nd in the aisle of their local supermarkets.

Civic Organizations?From your public library or Chamber of Commerce, gather the names of civic and community organizations and the program chairperson of each. Contact these people with a professional letter indicating your willingness and availability for presentations about new opportunities in cosmetic dentistry, including whitening. Make presentations to these groups with the purpose of expanding the population?s understanding and awareness of the positive thrust of dentistry. These presentations must be educational and not self-serving. The response will be excellent if your approach and follow-up are carefully planned and carried out.

Open the Doors

You want to enjoy your days in the practice, and you want to make a difference. You want to whiten teeth and brighten smiles, and you want your practice to grow. Embrace the idea of strategically pursuing more whitening cases as a focus of your practice and you?ll see whitening and other cosmetic procedures open new doors for you and your grateful patients.

Cathy Jameson, PhD, serves as CEO of Jameson Management, Inc, where she has led a team of coaches who offer in-offi ce consulting in dental practices all over the world, as well as lectures, products, marketing services, events, and more. For information about Cathy Jameson, visit