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Avoid these 3 common mistakes in and boost dental case acceptance

The business side is a vital part of any dental practice.

Why are so many practices unable to get their schedules full with paying patients?

Well let’s look at 3 of the most frequent mistakes which can hinder the ability to sell dentistry.

Mistake #1

“Hey Doc, I can’t afford treatment!”

A common mistake which occurs in the dental practice is when a dentist discusses treatment fees and tries to sell the case himself. An overly eager dentist wanting to make the sale happen could easily break the patient's trust relationship by trying to convince the patient to buy right there and then. Patients don’t like visiting the dentist in the first place. So why would they want to hear “bad news” (necessary treatment) on top of “bad news” (financial costs). Discussing finances and providing financial options is not the job of the dentist especially during case presentation and education this takes up valuable chair time which can be used for the next patient. As the dentist you should ask yourself, how much is my chair time worth? The dentist should not have any part of a sales and collection process other than setting the fees for their practice.

Mistake #2

“We don’t need any more staff”

Choosing not to hire and dedicate the position of sales to a particular individual is another common mistake. So you’ll save some money on the overhead but you’ll lose out on selling cases. Hiring an experienced treatment coordinator to present your treatment plans is an essential part of keeping your practice flourished with immediate income. A treatment coordinator should be thoroughly trained and have a proven track record in sales. This person should also be fully trained in the arts of persuasion and familiar with third-party financing. He or She should be well versed and persistent yet subtle with his/her sales pitch. Creating a sales script can be something beneficial for everyone in the practice. This helps to maintain stability and structure within the practice. Lastly, make sure to dedicate a financial arrangement room for privacy and confidentiality.

Mistake #3 

“Payment was due last visit”

 Choosing to allow the patient to create a payment plan that is suitable for them is another common mistake. Can you really trust the patient with financial arrangements and expect them to pay on time? Things can occur in a person’s life that can cause difficulties and financial hardships. These types of situations tend to happen without warning. How can you avoid conflict and complications when it comes time to collect payments? Make sure to establish a well written financial policy which explains in detail how and when payment is expected. The patient should not receive dental services without acknowledging the office policy by providing their signature and written consent. 

Therefore, when it comes time to collect it will be an easy transaction. 

It is essential to implement effective strategies to your dental practice. If you are a dentist or dental office manager and need guidance join our dental office manager community.

See you in the dental office managers community, Kyle Summerford

Author bio

With over 22 years of experience in the dental field, Kyle L. Summerford has honed a unique approach to case presentation and patient acceptance. As a seasoned dental office manager and financial dental consultant, he leverages his expert knowledge to assist both new and struggling dental practices. Through his education programs, Mr. Summerford empowers staff members with effective patient education skills and persuasion techniques, significantly enhancing overall case acceptance rates. 

Driven by a passion for teaching and sharing knowledge within the dental community, Mr. Summerford has lectured at numerous Continuing Education (CE) events and prestigious academic institutions, including Stony Brook University, the New York City County Dental Society, and Georgia Regents University. His expertise is further recognized through his self-authored articles in his renowned dental coding column, "Dental Coding with Kyle." 

Mr. Summerford is also the founder of the Dental Office Managers Community and These platforms serve as invaluable resources for dental professionals, fostering connections and facilitating the exchange of knowledge among peers.


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