If you’re like many dental professionals, you struggle with case acceptance. No matter what you do, no matter how thoroughly you explain, no matter how urgently they need it, your patients just won’t agree to, schedule, or show up for the treatment plans you recommend. It can be frustrating.
You know that getting them to agree to a treatment plan is what’s best for their health and well-being. You also know that it’s critical for the financial health and well-being of your practice. And worrying about your practice’s financial health contributes to the stress levels of everyone who works with you.
We’re here to help.
Achieve case acceptance rates of 80% or more
1. Patients are afraid of treatment.
According to a study done by Columbia University School of Dental Medicine, somewhere between 9 and 15% of Americans express anxiety or fear about seeing the dentist – so they avoid scheduling treatment. And the British Dental Health Foundation’s survey concluded that 36% of people who don’t get regular dental treatment cited fear as their main reason.
With so many people experiencing anxiety, it’s important to express empathy and compassion as you explain what you recommend and why you are recommending it.
Educate your patients.
• Ask about their concerns and tailor your discussion to address those concerns directly.
• Explain clearly what the treatment involves, and how you plan to make sure they are comfortable.
• Show them x-rays or other images that illustrate their condition.
• Show them before-and-after photos or testimonials from similar, successful cases you’ve treated.
• Lay out for them the possible negative consequences of ignoring the problem or postponing treatment.
The more you educate your patients about the treatment you’re recommending, the more comfortable they will be about scheduling it. Your willingness to educate and inform your patients every step of the way not only helps relieve their anxiety, it also helps you earn their trust. And once your patients trust you, they are much more likely to accept the treatment plan you recommend.
2. Patients think they can’t afford treatment.
Many people don’t have dental insurance, much less put money away specifically for dental care. Many of your patients are worried that they can’t afford the treatment you recommend. So, as long as they’re not experiencing pain, they convince themselves they can put the treatment off. Unfortunately, postponing treatment more often than not leads to more complicated problems and additional costs down the road.
Help your patients ease their financial burden. Offer third party financing from a company like CareCredit, and allow them to pay for treatment in smaller monthly installments. That way, your patients don’t have to worry about writing one large check or maxing out their credit card at the time of service. Once patients realize they can actually manage paying for their treatment, they are more likely to schedule and complete it.
3. Patients have questions that haven’t been answered.
In a busy dental practice, it’s not common for the dentist to have the time to address every one of the patient’s concerns or questions. While you might review or recommend a treatment plan to the patient and explain why it’s necessary, your patients might not want to take up too much of your time. They might well say they understand and agree to schedule their treatment, but often they leave with many questions unanswered.
To make sure all of your patients’ questions are answered, we suggest using a Treatment Coordinator to conduct the case presentations and treatment plans for every producer in your practice. The Treatment Coordinator’s job is to review all of the details of the case and recommended treatment, allowing patients to ask questions and discuss the plan without feeling rushed. Holding these conversations in a comfortable, quiet environment also helps strengthen the relationship between your practice and the patient. When they feel that your practice cares enough to address their questions and concerns individually, your patients are more likely to be comfortable and willing to schedule treatment.
4. Patients forget to schedule treatment.
You’re busy. Your patients are, too. We all have busy lives. While your main concern is the importance of your patient’s dental health, your patients might simply have other, more important concerns at the top of their list. They simply forget to call back to schedule treatment once they’ve left the building to resume their normal lives. We recommend supporting your patients by having the Treatment Coordinator follow up with every patient two days after the initial case presentation, while that conversation is still top of mind. These follow-up calls offer the chance to further educate patients and address any lingering concerns they might have. Your patients will appreciate the extra effort to make them feel important, and they’ll better understand why they should accept treatment.
While improving your case acceptance rate and getting patients to schedule recommended treatment can be challenging, it’s vital to the success of your practice. Low case acceptance rates are costing you thousands of dollars in lost revenue, as well as hurting team morale. If you’re not currently experiencing a case acceptance rate of 80%, don’t worry. We’re here to help. We’d can discuss with you how to raise your case acceptance rates immediately and achieve your practice goals.
If even one idea, one tiny shift in the way you communicate with your patients, could make your practice more satisfying and profitable, why wouldn’t you take advantage of this complimentary opportunity Now?
We look forward to hearing from you.
Schedule your complimentary Discovery Call today.