If your practice is like many, you probably aren’t getting as much revenue from dental care as you could. If dental services represent less than 3% of your gross revenue, try some of these tools for making dental health integral to your preventive care protocols. In the exam rooms, you and your staff should show clients their pets’ teeth (when it is safe to do so!) and point out any dental disease observed. Patient histories always should include inquiries into the pet’s comfort when eating and any oral cavity odor clients may have noticed. Educate clients that good dental health is critical to their pets’ long-term well-being—it is not all about cosmetics. Focus less on the subject of a dental “cleaning” and more on the systemic health benefits of dental care by offering dental treatments. To get clients to agree to your dental treatment plans, offer 10% off the estimated cost of the care if the client agrees to the dental plan and schedules an appointment for treatment before leaving the exam room. If a client cannot commit when care is recommended, be sure to send a reminder e-mail (or a postcard) within two weeks of the initial visit and follow-up with a phone call from a doctor.
To see more revenue from dental care you will need to market your services well. To capture dental care opportunities from your existing client base, identify pets over three years of age that have never had dental care. Send e-mails and postcards recommending dental care to their owners (even have your staff give them a call) and offer an incentive such as a free dental check-up to get these pets in for care. Be sure you have nicely framed posters explaining the benefits of good dental health on the walls in your reception area and exam rooms. If you have a TV set in your waiting area and/or computer monitors in the exam rooms, run some programming regarding dental health. Create dental care notebooks and keep them in reception and the exam rooms for clients to page through while they are waiting. Finally, let’s not forget about your website and your practice Facebook page. When you go to your website, is the availability of dental care in your practice buried in the “services” section? Get the information up front on the home page. Do you post client-friendly articles about dental care on social media? Try to include both humorous and educational posts. Once you get a plan in place to market dental care, look at your revenue from dental services every month and determine if your strategies are working.