I’ll tell you what I see. I see opportunity!
Dentistry is a great profession. As sure as people will always need a haircut, they will always need to have their teeth looked after by professionals like us. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges ahead. Like every industry, we too are facing many changes. Some of them are amazing and let us work more efficiently and become more profitable, while others take us down unproductive paths.
For many years now Lasers have been a part of dentistry. We use lasers for intra oral tissue removal, tissue re-contouring, tooth whitening, caries removal, disinfection of periodontal pockets, improvements in the healing of aphous lesions and the list goes on and on…it’s amazing technology.
Most practicing dentists quickly develop a myopic view of the patient care. We tend to see only the oral cavity because that is where we are most comfortable and where we have been trained to diagnosis and treat. But what if there is more? What if there was a way to utilize the skills and equipment you already have to offer additional value-added services to your patients? Would you be willing to think outside the box and take action?
Recently I have been considering additional lasers for my 14 dental offices. As part of the decision-making process I took a week’s course though the National Laser Institute to evaluate different laser companies and experience firsthand what would work best in my practices.
Let me say that my experience with the National Laser Institute could not have been better. Their team was professional and knowledgeable and I had a very enjoyable experience. But even more importantI saw opportunity. When it comes to laser treatments there is an almost limitless supply of patients clamoring for this type of treatment option.
I have had, and used, lasers in my dental offices on and off for many years. But I’d never considered their use for other forms of care and treatment.
Consider the following-
- Hair removal and or reduction
- Brown and Red spot removal
- Tattoo removal
- Facial Rejuvenation and Radiofrequency Care and Treatment
- IPL Treatments or Intense Pulsed Light Photo facials
- Wrinkle Reduction and Fractional Laser treatments
- Body Contouring That Targets Adipose and Cellulite Problem Areas
- Vein Reduction
The above list just scratches the surface of treatment options we could all be offering. This is an opportunity just waiting for dentists to embrace.
There is a seemingly never ending list of challenges that face us day in and day out – with dental insurers constantly reducing fees and placing more rules and regulations between us and the care we provide, not to mention the growing competition from DSO’s and MSO’s. Perhaps now is the time to look into the mirror and see the enormous opportunities that are still there if we choose to learn and apply new skills to service alternative markets outside the gumline.
Did you know that almost 30 million people in the US alone have tattoos and almost 80% want them removed! With the right laser and techniques in 4-10 visits this can be done!
Did you know that most women have terminal and vellus hair on their face that they would like to see removed and or reduced!
Did you know in recent surveys most men and women want to see a reduction of age and sun damaged spots on the face along with reduction of wrinkles and fine lines!
What I have learned over the last 35 years in my professional and business career is that we are health care professionals and the care and service we provide is paramount. But we are also small business owners who need to adjust to market forces to grow our practices.
Clearly esthetic treatments are in great demand and will become even more popular as our population ages. What I see is an opportunity to add value, a growing patient base, an unmet need and a reduced barrier to provide care and treatment. That’s right – this is a “no-insurance” business. Patients pay for what they want and need.
If you are still on the fence about adding this kind of service option to your practice consider this, when a crown is done it usually doesn’t require additional treatment for many years, however facial esthetics treatments are ongoing. We may never stop aging, but we clients will sure as heck pay to hold the signs of aging back for as long as possible.
With the correct lasers and training a tremendous opportunity lays right in front of us all. We need embrace it and learn to provide these additional services to patients.
Kevin Coughlin DMD, MBA, MAGD
Owner of Ascent-Dental-Solutions with a focus on Knowledge, Development, Training and Consultation
Author, Educator and Lecturer
Dr. Coughlin started Baystate Dental in 1983 with 14 practices and 150 employees and continues to practice full time all aspects of General Dentistry.
He can be reached at 413-224-2659 or DrKevin@Ascent-Dental-Solutions.com