How to Grow Your Dental Practice: Remove Patient Roadblocks
As a dentist looking for ways to grow your dental practice, you need to know what roadblocks the patient encounters so you can address them.
Visiting a dentist is a routine for some patients. 52.3% of adults say they see a dentist every six months, according to the American Dental Association. However, more than one in five or 21.3% say they have not made any dental appointments in the last few years.
Other patients have various reasons why they will not proceed with their consultation. These roadblocks are usually hindrances that you can mitigate or even remove to motivate your patient to go to your clinic.
What Are the Roadblocks To Remove?
Every patient is unique in their dental needs. Thus, each one has different reasons making them uncertain about choosing your dental practice. Here are some common roadblocks patients face when considering a dental office or whether to move forward with treatment.
1. Preferred Patient Service
Some patients coming to your clinic may request a same-day treatment. While it’s still best to have an appointment beforehand, remember that there might be emergency cases needing your expertise. These patients may need urgent care immediately. If you still have available time slots, check at what time you can take care of the patient. Otherwise, inform them politely why a same-day treatment is not possible.
2. Appointment Time Flexibility
It’s understandable to have your clinic schedule filled up with patients on a busy day, especially if you keep regular hours. To remove more roadblocks, consider being more flexible in terms of times and days patients can schedule dental visits. Patients may have different working hours or emergencies that make regular hours inconvenient. Consider adding hours outside of regular business hours at least one or two days a week so you can accommodate more patient schedules. A well-managed dental practice puts the welfare of its patients by removing appointment time roadblocks.
3. Cost of Dental Service
A more pressing concern is the cost of your dental service. Some patients may find your service too expensive, thus preventing them from booking an appointment. But many times, “cost,” doesn’t mean the price of their care. Many times, it just means how much they have to pay out of pocket or per month. Consider offering multiple ways for patients to fit their care into their budget.
Also, make sure you are clear with patients as to the total cost of treatment. Patients want to know how much the treatment will cost. While most dental practices have prices set for their services, some require additional fees, medicine, or materials. Informing patients beforehand of any cost estimates will make patients trust you more, which will encourage them to choose your dental practice as they will know how much to set aside for their treatment.
4. Insurance Coverage
Patients will usually ask if their insurance covers the dental treatment. Some patients do not have insurance to pay for the service. If you are a PPO practice, managing insurance is key. Being willing to bill medical insurance for certain procedures can help set you apart from other practices, too.
Identify beforehand which treatments are covered by insurance and brief the patient accordingly. If they do not have dental insurance, for instance, provide them with payment options. If they have medical insurance, consider whether you can bill their medical insurance to help defray their out-of-pocket costs. Having well-defined insurance coverage or alternative payment modes ensures that your patients know what to expect when choosing your clinic.
5. Ask the Patient
There are scenarios when you cannot predict the roadblocks hindering the patient. Be concerned about their well-being by asking the patient about their concerns. Who knows, you may be able to deal with the barriers that they’re facing. Be willing to be creative in helping patients move forward and you’ll get more patients to move forward.
An example of this situation is for aging patients who cannot drive to your clinic. Some dental practices even go as far as booking an Uber to the patient’s residence. In essence, providing the best patient care, not just limited to your dental services, will make your clinic a commendable practice.
How Can You Make Your Dental Practice More Profitable?
There are many ways you can grow your dental practice, and one of them is by helping patients overcome the roadblocks they face when considering a practice or choosing to move forward with care.
Attracting more patients is easy when there are no barriers for them. These are some of the most common roadblocks. Keep your eyes and ears open in your practice and you’ll be able to spot the most common roadblocks for your patients, too. And when you do, help patients overcome them and you’ll be well on your way to higher profits at your dental practice.
When it comes to growing your dental practice, you need an informative, trustworthy community. Nifty Thrifty Dentists is a trusted source of dental professionals seeking better ways to improve their practice with articles, podcasts, community interaction, and more.