There Is No Final Answer

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Many dentists are very comfortable with the status quo. We cling to the traditional methods and ways of thinking, rather than seeking the possibility of a better result. Change is a challenge for us. Many dentists want to stay with the answers they know so well, rather than risk trying something new. We want yesterday’s information to be the final answer in dentistry.

In the current best selling business book, Who Moved My Cheese? By Dr. Spencer Johnson, he demonstrates our different approaches to change. Some eagerly look for the cheese in another spot, womd reluctantly find cheese in another station and others would rather die than even think the cheese might never be in the same spot again.

In dentistry, the cheese has moved. New answers are available technically, in sales conversations and in marketing opportunities The question is, do you think you now have the final answer and how adaptable are you to change and risking something new? Are you content with the answers learned in dental school or is there more “cheese” to be learned?

To be in the top 10% of dentists, there can be no final answer. We need to approach the practice of dentistry as a constant work in progress. There is a dental revolution occurring and change is here to stay. Are you part of the dental revolution?

One of the most exciting aspects of the dental revolution is the technical possibilities. With bonded dentistry, new materials and techniques, we are able to deliver beauty, comfort and longevity to our patients. An “over 50 years” patient wants to look good, feel good and last a long time.

Another area where some doctors feel trapped but are reluctant to change is the insurance arena. If insurance has been a powerful force in dentistry, then we have become a willing partner along with our staff and our patients. The change that is available is dentists do have a clear choice to continue the same or become insurance free, mentally as well as financially. With any approaching change, create a plan towards insurance freedom. Do the math, work with your staff on scripting and speak with every patient who is involved, sharing benefits. Forever being a dental insurance provider is not necessarily the final answer.

Blatchford Solutions has led the way to another change and that is, that our patients do not NEED our services. Virtually everything we do for our patients is a choice. This philosophy is certainly different than taught in dental school and shakes the very core of insurance paradigms. When this paradigm of need is resolved in dentist’s minds, it creates the opportunity to help your patient develop their dreams of a good-looking smile.

And of course, there is no final answer here, either, for as the marketplace changes, the skills and attitudes in dentistry must shift, too.

Learning sales skills is a real change in dentistry. Five years ago, we needed to call it “case presentation” to make is palatable for dentistry. The sales skills involve learning to ask questions to have the patient thinking about some possibilities and what is important to them. Involve your staff in developing sales skills if asking questions to help patients develop the dream smile. Start a sales library of books, audios and videos for dentist and staff. There is definitely no final answer in the sales arena for just when you have it, the marketplace changes and dentistry takes a different position of choice.

In dental marketing, there is no final answer. In fact, many dentists are very slow to recognize the importance of marketing due to the public’s recognition that dentistry is a choice and not a NEEDED service. If it is a choice, we must develop a niche and position ourselves as the leader in that niche. This is not an area for “do-it-yourself-ers.” Create a long-range plan, based on your personal vision of what you stand for, seek out expert advice and position yourselkf as the expert in you area. marketing in dentistry will never have a final answer. Marketing itself is fluid and dynamic. You lead the marketplace, not follow so every rule is not yet defined. If you wait for every answer, it is too late.

Overhead doesn’t have to be at 75% of higher. This is definitely not the final answer. Your overhead is a choice. If you are still operating the bigger, busier model, trying to be “everything to everyone”, your overhead is higher. It takes more staff to keep doing the smaller procedures on many patients. Overhead can be reduced by changing the mix of treatment being offered to more optional services.Give your patients choices, not just the “necessary patch-type” dentistry. The Crown of the Year Club is located here. Probably the staff percentage is near 30% and the lab is under 10%. Achieving a new lower overhead percentage means acquiring new skills and a new attitude. You do not have the final answer at 78% overhead.

The possibilities of creating a real passion in serving patients with beautiful, optional smiles is a real shift in dentistry. There are no final answers if you want to be in the top 10% of dentists. Revisit your reasons for entering the profession. Is there satisfaction in keeping things the same or is there a real possibility for you to take some risk, learn new skills and rekindle the excitement you first felt in being a dentist? the skills, knowledge and coaching are available to you. Take a chance. Give it your best.