News FLASH……….People want whiter teeth!
A recent survey in USA Today asked the following question; “What would you like to change about your smile?” 85% of the people surveyed said they wanted whiter teeth. While most dental offices provide whitening services, very few offices are anywhere near their whitening potential. The information in this blog post will provide three specific solutions to increase your whitening.
Tip #1: Take a shade match at the beginning of your hygiene appointments. Here are the verbal skills:
Hygienist: “Linda, I am going to start today’s appointment by taking a shade match of your current tooth color. The reason I am doing this is that we now know that tooth color changes over time. It tends to darken with age. By taking your shade today I will have it as part of our records.”
Then the hygienist can show the patient their shade on a shade guide that is arranged chromatically from dark to light. This simple process often creates a great deal of patient interest in whitening.
Tip #2: Value price whitening. Consider value pricing whitening to make it more attractive for your patients. I do not recommend giving it away, since patients often do not attach any value to it if it’s free. However, value pricing can be very useful. Our fees for whitening are as follows; $195 for chairside whitening (including custom trays), $95 for take-home whitening with custom trays, and $40 for over the counter whitening (Trey White by Ultradent). These fees are very low for our community. We do this intentionally to create more interest. While we make a very minor profit at these fees, the real reason we value price whitening is that whitening is a ‘gateway service’ that leads to more interest in other dental services. More whitening leads to more restorative services.
Tip #3: Offer lifetime whitening. Consider offering lifetime whitening to patients who do either chairside or take-home whitening. Here’s how to provide lifetime whitening. Tell the patient that as long as they keep their recommended hygiene appointments you will provide free touch up gel during their hygiene appointments for as long as they are an active patient in your office. This is a wonderful, positive motivation for patients to keep their hygiene appointments and you are helping your patient maintain a white, bright smile. Think about it. Would you pay $3 (your cost for a syringe of whitening gel) to keep a patient in your hygiene chair?
The three recommendations provided in this blog post will help increase the whitening volume in your practice. By doing so you will be increasing the productivity of your practice, but perhaps more importantly you will be providing patients what they want. Providing patients what they want is an excellent strategy in any economic climate! Keep Smiling!