Dental Tribune USA

Enhance the experience for implant patients

By Dr Roger P. Levin, USA
December 30, 2009

The current economy has changed the way we look at revenue and profitability. Prior to the downturn, services like implants were experiencing tremendous growth. As the economy places a heavier burden on your patients’ discretionary funds, elective services, like implants, are starting to feel the recession’s impact.

Enhancing the patient experience can help ensure greater implant success.

Motivate patients with benefits

Implants should be treated as a practice within a practice. You cannot expect success if you run your implant systems the same way you run the systems for other types of services. Because acceptance of implant treatment is based on emotional decision-making, you must excite patients and motivate them about the benefits of implants.

Use the following suggestions to boost the implant experience:

• Encourage referring practitioners to send all potential patients. Every patient missing teeth is a candidate for implant treatment. Work closely with referring practitioners to showcase the benefits of implants to all referred patients.

• Schedule implant patients within seven days or less. The longer it takes to schedule an elective appointment, the more likely that the patient will not present.

• Appoint an Implant Treatment Coordinator (ITC). An ITC is a specially trained individual who has the ability to close a high percentage of cases as well as manage financial arrangements.

Exceeding patient expectations

Patients who receive dental implants are generally pleased with the result, especially when they are given excellent and timely communication during the treatment process from both the surgical and restorative practices. With a clear understanding of the procedure and the timeline involved, patients feel more connected and assured.

In addition, because the majority of implants are still provided by multiple practices, it is important to put the least amount of responsibility on the patient. Levin Group suggests that you map out every step of the interdisciplinary process and determine how to communicate next steps, time frames and all fees along the way.

Conclusion

The success of your implant practice rests on your interaction with the patient. When a unique experience is created, patients are pleased with the outcome from an esthetic and functional perspective. Communicating the value of treatment helps patients realize the benefit of implants beyond the money they are spending.

About the author

Dr Roger P. Levin is founder and chief executive officer of Levin Group, a leading implant practice management firm. Levin Group provides Total Implant Success, the premier comprehensive consulting solution for lifetime success to implant clinicians in the United States and around the world.

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