Posted April 03, 2018
In this day and age, those who embrace the reality of modern dentistry run the most impactful practices. Although it seems like it should be easy to maintain a successful practice solely because people know that regular dental checkups are important to their oral and overall health, that is likely no longer the case. While most people do have that knowledge, getting them to act on it is harder than ever.
Beyond that, once they are convinced to act on that knowledge, you must prove to them that yours is a current and up-to-date dental practice that can meet all their needs and expectations. This may sound overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! Here are a few ways to keep your dental office on the cutting edge of modern dentistry.
As healthcare costs continue to rise, many dental offices are finding it difficult to go it alone. This has led to the rise of group offices, those that offer several different locations under one umbrella brand. What’s more, as this trend continues to gain steam, this is becoming what patients expect, finding that they can put more trust in a larger operation than a standalone office. This is not to say that you can’t be successful if you continue to go it alone, just that you need to understand what you’re going up against if you do.
While many great advances have been made in modern dentistry and oral care technology over the last several years, the more important aspect of improving technology is how it affects your relationship and communication with your patients. In a world of increasing media saturation, you must always stay on the top of your patients’ minds in order to have a chance of them continuing a patient relationship with you. This means finding ways to communicate to them in-between their regular check-ups, offering digital records that your patients can access anywhere, and having secure, online payment options for patients on-the-go.
Another product of increasing insurance rates is that many patients flatly can’t afford dental insurance. This means that out-of-pocket costs will be prohibitively expensive for many potential patients, thus greatly reducing your patient pool. One possible solution to this problem is offering an in-office payment or even dental coverage plan. This can help control costs for your patients by giving them a lower-cost plan that can still provide the care they need. At the same time, establishing such a program shows that yours is an office that truly cares about all people, thus greatly increasing your appeal.
Another important point to consider when embracing modern dentistry is that today’s consumer has options. Lots of options. Unless you’re located in a small town somewhere, you can be sure that there are dozens of other dental offices all competing for the same mouths you are. As mentioned above, this means you need to understand marketing in a way you probably never thought you’d have to. After all, you’re a dentist, not a marketing specialist.
If you feel you don’t have the time or expertise to be able to effectively promote your office, it may be wise to hire a third party to handle these efforts for you. This ensures you can continue to focus your efforts on the patients you have, rather than trying to gain more.
The good news is that once you’ve gotten people through your door, the old-fashioned way is still the best approach. In a world that so often de-personalizes so many aspects of people’s lives, making them feel cared for on a personal level will go a long way to keeping them as patients. So, in this respect, just keep providing the great, personal care you always have, and you’ll be well on your way to creating those patients-for-life that are so vital to your continued success.
Keeping your practice current will provide a great experience for both your patients and your employees. It’s not difficult to do, and you’ll find these upgrades rewarding! Head over to our Facebook and let us know how your practice is modernizing!