Effective Dental Patient Scheduling: Part 2 of 3

This is part TWO of a THREE part series on dental patient communication.

Topics Covered in Part Two...
  • The "Fully Prepared" Prospective Dental Patient
  • The "Unprepared" Prospective Dental Patient
The following descriptions are not absolute, but are guideposts for moving the dental patient in the best direction possible during that initial telephone inquiry. While these concepts are focused on high-end cosmetic/esthetic dentistry and reconstructive care with dental implants, they can be augmented for any type of dental brand and niche.

The "Fully Prepared" Prospective Dental Patient
The more of these qualifiers they have or bring up, the better prepared they are.
• Have reviewed your dental Website
• Have seen your dental postcards or advertisements
• Specifically ask for a smile makeover consultation
• Ask about specific high-end services like dental implants, Invisalign orthodontics, sedation dentistry, porcelain veneers, Lumineers…
• Bring up complex dental language (“I think I need full mouth reconstruction.)
• Identify you as a specialist, expert, the best dentist on the Internet (“I really researched you. I don’t see anyone else that compares.”)
• Have been to other dentists and don’t like what they did or recommended
• Are out of Area/State callers
• Are referred by your other smile makeover patients

The "Unprepared" Prospective Dental Patient
These callers are looking for “a” dentist. They are more than likely “Yellow Pages” patients: literally or figuratively. Meaning they called a number that just happened to be associated with Dr. Dentist Of Dentistry and dentistry of some kind. They are not focused on dental expertise; they merely want a tooth problem fixed.

Sending, or directing them to, more info before their first dental visit or smile consultation is vital.

Following are issues that denote a low level appreciation for and/or understanding of comprehensive dental rejuvenation. Your dental office front desk person should listen for…
• The patient has a toothache (with few other details provided)
• They want an appointment fast, emergency dental care
• Dental Insurance is a big issue (They won’t let you focus on expertise or value)
• The patient wants to know about cost – most everything comes back to how much Dr. Dentist Of Dentistry charges
• A teeth cleaning appointment is their fist concern
• They called about your discounted coupon, free whitening, half price exam…

Part 3 of Effective Dental Patient Scheduling Includes these two topics...
  1. The "In Between" Prospective Dental Patient
  2. Dental Patient Communication Conclusion
Read the final installment of this Dental Marketing in the May 2, 2009 Blog Post.


Photos Show How Dentistry Transforms Smiles, Health

Is a smile makeover of any kind really worth it? That depends on your oral health and/or your personal preferences about appearance.  But because there is a financial element to the treatment, the planning and execution need to be very refined to get the result everyone is shooting for. 

Of course, the cost of deteriorating dental health can be much more than the dollars invested in making things right again. And while beauty is only skin deep (or in this case a tooth veneer in thickness) - confidence has a value that is a lot harder to measure. 

Photography showcasing the before and after conditions of the teeth and overall smile are an effective way to explain the value it offers. And these photos are also useful for achieving a successful result. The photography helps communicate to the patient, dentist and dental laboratory what is proposed and the result expected.

You might never need or want a smile makeover. But the dentists doing them need all the communication they can get to create a healthy, esthetic and functional result. Dental CE courses and seminars like the one below are what dentists need to get it right, time after time.

Dental Photography Training Hands-On Course

  • Presenter: Rick Spaulding, Nationally Recognized Digital Dental Photography Trainer

  • Where: Renstrom Dental Studio

  • Address: 4225 White Bear Parkway, Ste 1240
    Vadnais Heights, MN 55110

  • When: Monday, May 18, 2009

Many dental offices have attended seminars on dental photography, and many practices have purchased a dental camera, intending to use photography to better communicate with their patients, dental laboratories and insurance companies. But many offices don’t have a camera, and many that do are using their camera infrequently, or not at all.

For over nine years, Rick Spaulding has given presentations about the benefits of better dentistry photography, and many of you have seen him speak. This hands-on seminar and approved CE course will put a camera (yours or ours) in your hands, and Rick will show you how to take all the photos that are necessary to help Renstrom Dental Studio make the best possible esthetic dental restorations for your patients.

You’ll be amazed how easy it can be once you have a chance to practice your skills without the pressure of working on an actual patient.

This seminar is provided at no charge for current Renstrom Dental Studio Clients. Due to the hands-on nature of this seminar-we are limited to 12 participants (maximum of 2 assistants per dental office).

If you will be bringing your own camera, please let us know the specific Body, Lens, and Flash models so we can be prepared to help you get the best results.

  • Three Dentistry CE Credits (DANB Approved) will be provided.

RSVP Renstrom Dental Studio


Effective Dental Patient Scheduling: Part 1 of 3

Getting the “most prepared patients” for cosmetic, restorative and implant dentistry in the door is the ultimate goal of the dental office scheduling process. Of course, identifying those patients can be difficult if certain criteria are not decided upon by the dentist and dental office team to differentiate who are the best-prepared patients.

The following information will make the dental patient selection process more effective; thereby increasing new patient numbers for high-end dentistry and improving smile makeover case acceptance.

Dental Care Visit Caller Discovery Process (Part 1 - below)

The "Fully Prepared" Prospective Dental Patient 
(Part 2 - 4/26/09)
The "Unprepared" Prospective Dental Patient 
(Part 2 - 4/26/09)
The "In Between" Prospective Dental Patient 
(Part 3 - 5/02/09)
Dental Patient Communication Conclusion 
(Part 3 - 5/02/09)

Dental Care Visit Caller Discovery Process

The dental team phone answerer must determine – by the questions asked and not asked where the person is at in their appreciation and understanding of high-end dentistry value. It will also be evident by the tone of the voice or by the urgency of the issue – how “far along” the caller is.

Another key element of the discovery process for the dental office phone answerer is listening attentively for what the prospective patient understands about Dr. Dentist Of Dentistry’s expertise and care philosophy (or his/her brand). Has the prospective dental patient build up any trust in the dentist (you) previous to their first dental visit? This is not easy to do, but neither should it be considered overwhelming to accomplish.

The dental office phone answerer must focus on increasing their proficiency and not dwell on individual situations or missed opportunities. Learning from each caller and new patient call situation, taking detailed notes, and asking key questions is more important at this juncture than interacting successfully on each call. Bear in mind that even a partial improvement in scheduling effectiveness can benefit your dental practice, so there is no reason to rush the process.

The caller will often have many inaccurate, under researched and/or na├»ve perceptions about dentistry. It isn’t efficient or productive for ALL of those questions to be answered during the phone call. The reality is few consumers can be transitioned unless they are prepared at many levels. The phone call is usually an early point in the preparing process especially if dental marketing has been absent from the prepping groundwork.

The scheduling qualifiers for prospective dental patients, noted below, are more important than the specific questions asked of each caller. The new dental patient, phone-answering concepts, discussed below, will help your front desk person understand the caller’s stage of case acceptance “readiness” and manage calls more effectively.

The caller should know they are not calling “a” dentist; they are calling the Dr. Expert Dentist Of Dentistry, YOU! The telephone answerer must understand AND value this distinction to effectively qualify these dental patients.

The caller (prospective dental patient) must be informed of this distinction, understand it and then "qualify themselves" before they are scheduled for a dental appointment. When they get to the dental practice, the new patient should be guided to the most efficient resource for moving up the “prepared” ladder.

Topics Covered in Part Two...
  • The "Fully Prepared" Prospective Dental Patient
  • The "Unprepared" Prospective Dental Patient 


The Niche Strategy for Dental Practices

The extensive Dental CE credits you've racked up. The copious quantities of new dental technology you've installed. And substantial team training hours you've undertaken are about to be accessed by an onslaught of new dental patient.

How do you achieve this "big line at the office door" result? It is actually very simple: just start doing LESS. The consumer is overwhelmed by everyday life. You need to standout by simplifying what they need to know about your dental services and dentistry expertise.

Everyone needs a dentist. Sadly, many people put it too far down the priority ladder because they are human like us. Procrastination, denial and fear keep everyone of us from getting things done. A well defined niche gets the message across in a value building way, encouraging a proactive response.

Most dentists offer dental services to the "masses". Some get a new technology and standout for a couple months. Others promote "general" cosmetic dentistry. But overall it is a wide focus. And the consumer puts you in the same boat as every other dentist. More importantly, the value of your dental expertise is lost at sea in this generic fog.

Pursuing a niche practice strategy is a powerful advantage when coupled with consistent, repetition of your core messages.

Narrow the conversation to improve brand recall. Build value with connective, comprehensively integrated communication. Be proactively repetitive to prevent dental care priority decay.

It's time! Wipe generic dentistry images and ideas from their eyes. Put your expertise out where they can see it. Define your dental niche. Refine your dentistry communication.

Schedule a consultation with dentist coach and dental marketing consultant Dick Chwalek. 
Call: 866-453-1026


What is the best marketing for my dental practice?

I wish I could tell you what is the best type of dental marketing. Unfortunately it is a secret. Fortunately my ability to keep secrets is feeble.

The other dental advertising firms have a FREE report of SECRET MARKETING STRATEGIES that you to sign up for and then have to wait for the email. Then it turns into some kind of bait and switch and you realize there was no secret except the fact the secret was - there was no secret.

The difference with my dentist coaching and dental consulting services is that I give you the report upfront and all I ask is that after reading it you send me $1,000 or $10,000, whichever fits your budget.

I would prefer $10,000 since I just got the FREE REPORT on the SECRETS of LIVING TO 100 and after getting them, was persuaded to purchase their products that cost $9,000, which included healing magnets, super-sized supplements, ancient Chinese herbs and feng shui (fung shway) dung infused organic soil for my garden.

Then a few days later I talked to my doctor who did not have a free report - which made me wonder if he actually knew what he was doing (or how successful marketing worked). He says to me, "You can also live well by eating in moderation, drinking in moderation, exercising at least moderately, avoid sucking down a pint of nicotine with a shot of carcinogen each day, and brushing and flossing."

I thought - you tricky one - you logically and scientifically trained health professionals. What is this? I knew that already. Yes, I want a well trained engineer building my bridge and someone that actually knows materials science to build my iPod, but for my health, I want something that sounds like it came from the UFO that lands in my yard every night.

Health can't be something I know how to do - then I might be the problem. That means I need to actually do something. It should be something totally fascinating out of my control and nearly magical to be effective.

Sadly, Niche Dental is based on something different than fantasy. My bait is mostly about throwing the switch on of reality.

As humans, we want to believe there is something easier and simpler - because we need easier and simpler so we can do more of what we would rather be doing. Like your dental patients. They want their visits and treatment to be painless, costless, done in a minute or in no time, no further obligations, and last until they want it to.

The answer to this complex dilemma is simple: just COMMUNICATE in some new way that you are not doing now.

Should you do your dental marketing in a certain quality, complete, targeted, consistent way? Yes. Of course.

But what if there were TEN people who needed dentistry of -- any kind. And you got 7 of them to brush and floss regularly and get to a dental visit once every three years instead of -- never. Rather than losing all of their teeth by the time they hit 60 years of age - they make it to 67.5721 years or almost 67 years and 6 months? Would that have been better than only 60 years with teeth? Of course.

Therefore, you simply need to COMMUNICATE MORE! This will change the dynamic in some way for a few patients...

There you go. The SECRET of Dental Marketing Revealed RIGHT HERE!!! No obligation of any kind. No need for me to get your email and send you a lot of stuff that is so super secret that only the magician behind the Web curtain can make it appear. And for that, just send me $1,000 - I mean $10,000 and we are even... No questions. No lawyers. No harassing calls. 10 Large and I am good...

Now, about communicating/marketing in a quality, complete, targeted and consistent way. Obviously that level of communication commitment is better - you are able to get beyond the basics like the other 3 of the 10 patients above that we have not dealt with yet.

One of these three remaining patients in my example gets a dental implant supported denture, which that patient uses to build an empire - "I liked the dental implant gadget so much I bought the company!" You put that in a press release about your amazing dental expertise and become the talk of the town. Use this headline - no charge (after I get my 10 large). One dentist. One implant supported denture. One Mega Success. America - ya gotta love it!

The 2nd patient of the remaining three (or now remaining two - sorry this is confusing) gets ongoing periodontal treatment and avoids a heart attack (or a stroke) which the patient in this example would have had without you MARKETING TO THEM - because they did not know about the link between gum disease and DEATH!!!!

The last patient (or the third of the three or last of the one... No we will call her Patient Ten - because of HIPAA I can't say that the patient is Sally my neighbor - so don't ask...) also gets whitening, veneers, and other amazing dental treatments for the smile makeover you now can present to all your other patients and the public to show them what is possible today with advanced restorative and cosmetic dentistry.

But Dick what exactly do I do? Dental postcards? A practice brochure with my smile makeovers in it? A dental website for my office? Yes. Yes? But Dick I need more. Then I will add some weight to my list.

So you want to know why we gain weight? No, Dick I want to know about marketing and what to do.

Calories in - calories out. It is that simple. No Secret Dental Advertising Reports. No bait and switch - just the reality that you need to say more, say it in the best way you can - right now and then keep augmenting, enhancing and moving forward.

Stop sitting around in the living room sofas of indecision and consuming all the dental marketing mumbo jumbo calories. Work with my strategic partners (see below) and sign up for my coaching. Call or email one of us.

Dentist marketing coaching provides the right information at the right time as well as ongoing encouragement to make things happen in a shorter time span. If you want more proactive integration, ask about my dental communication consulting services.

If you want other options - I have heard of this Google thing, and this Yahoo is another, and there are many more. Search for the marketing partner you want to work with. But make a decision.

As you wait, teeth fall out, bleeding gums persist and strokes and heart attacks are removing qualified candidates from your potential patient list.

No dental patient wants to be "sold" something they don't need - but if they are missing what they need to know and don't know what is possible now to make it better - the bill of goods they end up with could be much worse.

DO NO HARM - dental marketing is very healthy for your patients and the viability of your dental practice.

Dental Marketing Commentary by

Dental Websites, Logos, Brochures, SEO, PPC advertising
Direct Mail, Postcards for Family, Cosmetic Dentists and Orthodontists, Keep In Touch Marketing


Dentists Improve Their Skills - Patients' Smiles Benefit

Why ever pay out of pocket for your dentistry? It can't be that some dentists might actually have skills worth paying more for. No, dentists should stick to what worked in past centuries so they can be as far behind as your dental insurance company.

Your insurance coverage should focus on dull, 15th century metallurgy. If your dentist wants to do more than one tooth at a time (a natural-looking smile makeover for example), be wary, very wary, Larry and Mary, and be contrary about treatment approaches that are contemporary.  Only consumers that can think for themselves  should try something of this age.

If you would rather hitch up the oxen and take that road usually traveled, let your dental care insurance provider dictate reality to you. "Larry. Mary. And little Teri... The blacksmith is ready to see you now."

For dentists who also want to do more than a feudal lords of insurance recommend, they should attend this dental CE seminar...


Renstrom Dental Studio
 laboratory and Nobel Biocare encourage dentists in Hudson, Wisconsin, and Twin Cities, MN area to attend this upcoming evening continuing education course:

Nobel Dentistry Esthetics: Maximizing Clinical Results with Procera

  • When: May 6th, 2009 • 6:00PM – 8:00PM

  • Where: Holiday Inn Express • 1200 Gateway Blvd 
  • Hudson, WI 54016

    • No cost for attending 

    • 2 C.E. credits will be provided

    • Soft drinks and Appetizers will be served
This dental seminar will be an educational session informing its participant dentists on the latest capabilities and options of the Procera line-up of esthetic restorations.

The possibilities of Nobel esthetics go far beyond traditional crown and bridge work. Our goal is to teach the many applications of the latest Nobel products, how to work with these products efficiently and effectively, and how implementing them into your practice can be a profitable and excellent opportunity to grow your practice.

Dentists will also have the opportunity to hear about new cutting edge dental technology including the optical impression scanner!

RSVP Renstrom Dental Studio

Randy Renstrom is a Northern Dental Alliance Member

Dentistry Commentary By Dick Chwalek 
866-453-1026 ext 251


Study Confirms The Value of Dentistry Marketing, Advertising- Now Start Doing it

While the dental marketing study I am referring to in this blog article dates back to 1999, it shows how much is already verified that we don't know ourselves or just have not acted on. Ironically, that is the same situation for many dental patients as well.
They know they need dentistry, but often have not been "convinced" that it is required as often as dentists recommend and/or it should cost as much as it does. Then there is the pain, fear and insurance issues to contend with. The only way to close this gap in their smile health knowledge and appreciation of dentistry's value is through communication. 

Maybe some dentists still view dental marketing with a high level of skepticism and even dread. But to dispel the same perspective about things like the consumer dreading root canals and 'it can't cost that much--dentist trying to sell me something I don't need' skepticism, something NEEDS to change. 

Keep selling dental marketing short (which really should thought of as proactive and assertive communication) or start getting out there and telling the story people need to hear (on a consistent basis) to have the dental health they need.

Of course, I am just trying to sell you something you don't need (like an implant smile makeover). So don't believe me - a dental marketer - let a well researched study from a totally independent source make you a believer. Or not... 

Just like the consumer, dentists can go on believing that dentistry has not changed since 1979. Too many consumers still believe little has changed from an experience, clinical, and cost perspective, but you know they have. It is just that the "secret" is hidden from them by dentists afraid to go beyond the dental chair consult. Basically, ignorance of what is best alludes both dentist and dental patient.

Remove this fog of yesterday's dentistry. Dentists should no longer fear or disdain proactive marketing. Realize that communication is what makes change possible. Yes, marketing can be done badly. Just look beyond the purveyors of Schlock and Awful!

Maybe my scolding is mostly self serving - but I offer the following British dental marketing study as a "lifelike esthetic porcelain bridge" to a better dentistry future here in 2009.

British Dental Journal 186, 436 - 441 (1999) 
Published online: 8 May 1999 
Subject Category: Patient management

Patient care:  Marketing dental care to the reluctant patient

Marketing Blog Commentary by...
Dick Chwalek - Niche Dental President
Call 866-453-1026  Ext 251