Occasionally, my wife and I will talk dentistry. You might think we’d talk about it all the time, given her background and what I do everyday. But, in reality, the actual “delivery” of dental services doesn’t get a lot of talk time in our house.
On the flip side, I do talk to her about clients, what they’re up to, what we’re doing for them from the promotion side of things, unique stuff they do in their office for their patients, etc. It’s good dinnertime conversation.
[And, no, it’s not good pillow talk 😉 ]
But, the other night as we were rounding up the kids for bed (Two girls, 12 & 5 — both absolute characters and a helluva lot of fun), she mentioned braces for our oldest. In fact, here they are on a recent camping trip cookin’ up some popcorn:
I don’t think her teeth are crooked. I mean, heck, they look fine to me.
But, the thing is, they don’t look ok to my oldest or my wife. THAT’s what matters.
So, you can imagine, the first thing in my mind is: finances. Yeah. It’ll cost something to get those babies straightened out.
It’s probably the first thing on every parent’s mind when it comes to ortho, right? It sure isn’t a “technical issue or question,” is it?
This is the exact same thought process that takes place for all larger-case dentistry. No matter kids or adults.
Financing is an initial thought, if not outright concern.
My question for you: Are you eliviating this concern or are you ignoring the ugly, fat, obnoxious and stinky elephant in the room?
If you’re prescribing Tx and your team isn’t saying, “Don’t worry, we have 38 ways you can take care of the financial side of the treatment — I am very confident we can find a way that works for you,” then you’ve got a problem and you’re not doing as much treatment as you could be.
At SofTouch Dental, we use the following options to help patients get the treatment they need and want:
– cash (5% discount);
– credit cards (all of them, no discount — and we do utilize CareCredit, but certainly not my favorite due to added expense);
– senior discount (5% for all above age 55);
– 20% down, plus lab fee, 6 months or less to pay at 18% interest (1.5% per month) — For special, known-patients, we’ll extend that for up to 9 months;
– 1/3 at impression, 1/3 at delivery, 1/3 within 30 days; and,
– equal pre-pay payments before treatment begins — and, they can take as many months as they want to build up the credit, plus, they can cancel it at any time. In other words, no-risk for them.
The KEY to the above is that we always, always, always have a payment METHOD and option chosen in advance so my office manager isn’t chasing patients down for payment. We use debit or credit cards, bank account draft (ACH — via savings or checking), and pre-written checks.
Good luck. Remove some of the stress and help your patients by making the decision to move forward, easy.
Oh, and a nice side-benefit, your existing patients will be FAR more likely to refer others to you if they know you’re fair and flexible.
Patients won’t refer to an office that says, “Hey, give me your money at TOS. Otherwise, get the **** out.”