Beyond the Bridge: Building your dental practice with new and alternative services

I’ve worked as a dentist for 4 decades. The business has change considerably during that time.

The path to success used to be very straightforward. You would go to school, study hard, gain clinical expertise and then open a practice.

It would be an oversimplification to say that it was easy. Running a business never is. But it was a business model that most of us could figure out.

Fast forward to today and everything has changed. Dentists are getting squeezed from every direction. Patients now see themselves as customers and expect to be treated as such, insurance companies are getting stingier with their schedules and we are being forced into competition with well funded and aggressive Dental Service Organizations (DSO) and Managed Service Organizations (MSO).

Any one of these is enough to keep you up at night. And when you take them together it can seem completely overwhelming.

Dentist have two choices. The first is to continue business a usual and hope nobody notices.

The second is to adapt to the new environment and begin offering new and complimentary services and procedures that are a natural fit for our skills and expertise.

Welcome to the new era of “Spa Dentistry”

It’s certainly not a term you hear a lot. And it requires a lot more than offering warm towels, relaxing music and simple massages. In my definition it means expanding your services to include more cosmetic and beauty solutions to clients. When you think about it, adding services like Botox and Dermal fillers into your practice is a natural extension of what you do and fits well with the cosmetic dentistry model.

Adding to your existing clinical skills through additional training opens the door to an expanded practice as well as a completely new revenue stream. Your patients already trust you and believe in your skills. Offering them new services in a familiar environment makes it easy for them to “give it a try.” And the best part is that these are full fee treatments, so you don’t have to worry about dealing with insurance companies.

In addition to Botox and Derma fillers, some other treatment options to consider include:

  • Radiofrequency treatments (RF) to tighten the skin around the face and neck. Each treatment takes only 5-10 minutes and maintenance is every 4-12 months.
  • Laser treatments to remove red and brown spots on and/or around the face, spider veins, unwanted hair and tattoos as well as scar tissue or wrinkles. Each treatment takes between 25-60 minutes and usually can be completed in 2-4 visit with each visit scheduled 4-6 weeks apart.
  • You can also use both RF and Laser to remove unwanted adipose tissue under the chin, sub mental area inner and outer thighs and abdomen.  These treatments usually can be completed in 2-6 treatments scheduled 6-8 weeks apart and each session lasting between 25-60 minutes.
  • Hydra facials, which replenish the youthfulness of the skin in 30-40 minutes taking years off your patients skin and is maintained by a follow up visit every other month.
  • Kybella injections in the sub mental area to remove unwanted fat or adipose tissue causing the dreaded double chin.
  • PDO sutures or what is commonly referred to as a lunchtime facelift almost instantly taking years off your face.

The majority of our patients want to improve their looks. With our focus on teeth we are leaving a lot of business on the table for others to gram. Remember If they aren’t getting it from you they will find an alternate service provider take care of their cosmetic needs.

Our business is changing quickly. You don’t have the luxury to wait around and “see what happens.” Your competition is coming for you and you need to be ready to adapt to the changing marketplace now or you may soon find yourself out of it all together.