Seeing Is Believing - Incorporating LUMISmile for Treatment Acceptance

Author : Dental Product Shopper
Published Date 12/19/2008
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Jim Poole is a Managing Partner of Focused Evolution, Inc, a strategy consulting firm that specializes in developing and implementing growth strategies to help dental businesses achieve greater success.

Elective cosmetic dentistry represents an exciting opportunity for patients and dental professionals. With the advancements of dental materials and technologies, dental professionals can change people?s lives with a beautiful smile tailored to their specific desires.With the advancements of dental materials and technologies, dental professionals can change people?s lives with a beautiful smile tailored to their specific desires. Dental professionals can also reap the benefits of better serving the demands of their respective patients while increasing their bottom line.

Seeing Is Believing: Incorporating LUMISmile for Treatment Acceptance

Jim Poole is a Managing Partner of Focused Evolution, Inc, a strategy consulting firm that specializes in developing and implementing growth strategies to help dental businesses achieve greater success.

Elective cosmetic dentistry represents an exciting opportunity for patients and dental professionals. With the advancements of dental materials and technologies, dental professionals can change people?s lives with a beautiful smile tailored to their specific desires. Dental professionals can also reap the benefits of better serving the demands of their respective patients while increasing their bottom line. However, elective cosmetic dentistry is simply a concept if the dental team cannot elicit an emotive, compelling reason for a patient to say ?yes? to treatment. Gaining patient case acceptance is one of the biggest challenges faced by dental practitioners. Case acceptance is typically not obtained through the act of selling, but through a candid, educational dialogue between a dental professional and a patient. The goal of patient education is to empower a patient to make an informed decision on changing his or her life with a smile; it is an emotional, financial decision that often takes time, information, and continuous dialogue.

Addressing a Need
To address the needs of dental professionals and facilitate patient education, Den-Mat Holdings, LLC (Santa Maria, CA) has launched a new service called LUMISmile. The LUMISmile service changes the dynamics of case presentation by using visualization in lieu of dental dialogue to educate patients on how their smiles can be improved. This service provides a before and after photo of the proposed outcome of LUMINEERS, one of the fastest growing minimally invasive procedures in dentistry. The visual depiction profoundly impacts patient communication and can increase case acceptance (see photographs).
The creators of LUMISmile challenged themselves to develop a comprehensive solution that would meet the needs of dental practitioners and would be easy to implement. The process is straightforward:

  1. The patient is photographed with a digital SLR camera (using good photography principles).
  2. The dental practitioner sends the photograph to Den-Mat using a card reader and the Internet.
  3. Within 20 minutes, the dental practitioner receives an email with the LUMISmile.
  4. The dental practitioner prints out the before and after photographs and places them in a professional folder.
  5. The dental practitioner presents the LUMISmile to the patient while they are still in the practice and discusses how the practice can help.

The patient can leave the dental practice with a tangible, professional visual depiction of his or her potential smile to share with family and friends.

Unfortunately, presenting patients with an ?after? photo that is specific to their needs and desires has not been easy, and therefore, has not been fully used in dentistry. Dentists who have used the LUMISmile service say that it is easy and has changed their practice. ?My team is excited and more involved in the case presentation process,? says Dr. Louis Kaufman, who has a practice in Chicago. ?They can?t wait to see what the after photo is going to look like, and my patients can?t wait to show their friends and family. Many of my patients tell me that they are going to put their picture on the refrigerator and won?t take it down until their smile looks like the picture. This has increased my case acceptance by probably 50%.?

Bridging the Gap
For too long, dental practitioners have engaged in dialogue trying to explain to patients what they can do for their smile. Choosing elective cosmetic dentistry is a personal, emotional, and financial decision. It is difficult for patients to make confident decisions regarding dental treatment when they possess limited information and understanding. Typically there is dissonance between what the dental practitioner is trying to convey and what the patient hears and understands. According to a recent survey, when dentists were asked ?what are your most important needs regarding treatment planning?? dentists responded:

  1. Ability to make a connection with my patients
  2. Improve case acceptance
  3. Attentiveness of my patients (Source: Focused Evolution,Inc. Primary Research Survey, n=334 dentists)

LUMISmile bridges the dialogue gap and facilitates understanding through pictures. This service is presently offered exclusively to LUMINEERS Smile Discovery Program members and includes a free Canon digital SLR camera, a free card reader, a free printer, free presentation materials, and free office marketing materials. The objective of this new service is to facilitate patient education and increase case acceptance in an easy-to implement fashion that can change the behaviors of an office while better serving the needs of the community. ?Jim Poole, MBA

Jim Poole is a Managing Partner of Focused Evolution, Inc, a strategy consulting firm that specializes in developing and implementing growth strategies to help dental businesses achieve greater success. To learn more about their services, visit www.focusedevolution.com.

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