The REAL Reasons Your Dental Office Employs A Dental Hygienist

The REAL Reasons Your Dental Office Employs A Dental Hygienist

The Dental Hygienist has a pivotal role in the health and success of the dental practice.

Having a fully functional hygiene department ADDS  to the success of the dental office in so many ways.

There are some countries and some regions where dentists prefer to do their own hygiene on their dental patients, rather than employ a dental hygienist.

To me it doesn’t make sense.

Why would a dentist be doing his own hygiene?

A hygienist will work on patients at around $AUD50.00 per hour.

While the hygienist is cleaning patients’ teeth, the dentist can then be doing restorative work on other patients at anywhere between $AUD300.00 and $AUD1300.00 per hour [or more].

I remember one of my clients who was so busy, that his schedule was booked some two months in advance.

If a patient called for an appointment they had to wait two months before they could be seen by this dentist.

On close analysis of the doctor’s schedule we found that the doctor was spending over twelve hours each week doing thirty minute hygiene appointments.

This dentist was so busy cleaning teeth that he had no time to be seeing his own patients who needed to see him for important restorative work that he was diagnosing at the check-up appointments.

By practicing in this manner it was very difficult for this doctor to create urgency and concern about the conditions he was discovering and the treatment that he was recommending.

This LACK OF urgency and concern resulted in patients cancelling and delaying their diagnosed treatment.

And sometimes patients who were concerned went elsewhere to have their treatment done because they didn’t want to wait the two months.

The practice was a red hot mess.

And all because the doctor believed that HIS PATIENTS only wanted HIM to be cleaning their teeth.

And not anybody else.

On close examination I recommended to the doctor that he employ a dental hygienist to do the regular six-month hygiene visits for his patients.

And the hygiene visits would be sixty minutes long instead of thirty minutes.

But at the same fee.

This would create three hours each day for the doctor to see his restorative patients.

The hygienist would have six hours of scheduled hygiene each day, and would also have two hours available each day to see new patients to the practice as well as those patients of the practice who required deeper cleaning or maybe even a second visit because it had “been a while” between visits.

Why Your Regular Patients Will Love Your Dental Hygienist.

My wife said, having her teeth cleaned by a hygienist was just like having a  facial.

She said it was gentle and relaxing.

Dental hygienists are very proud of their work. 

They have two people to please.

They need to please the patient and they also need to please the dentist.

Patients LOVE the way that hygienists “take their time”  with their appointment. There is no rush rush rush, like when the dentist does their cleaning.

What else?

One of the real advantages of employing a dental hygienist is that the hygienist can identify any areas of concern that she sees during the cleaning appointment, and bring those concerns to the attention of the dentist when the dentist arrives to do the dental examination.

A good hygienist will also share those areas of concern with the patient so that the patient has a “heads up” about those areas, and what the dentist may possibly recommend.

A really good hygienist will take all photos and all necessary radiographs and have those ready for the dentist when he arrives to do his examination. They will have explained their findings to the patient before the doctor arrives.

And this means?

It’s kind of funny, but the patient tends to “trust” the opinion of the hygienist.

So when the dentist arrives to do the dental examination, if conducted correctly, it tends to be more of a re-confirmation of all the things that the hygienist has raised.

So long as the dentist and the hygienist are “on the same page”.

The end result?

Exams for the dentist tend to take a lot less time, and are more a CONFIRMATION of the hygienists findings rather than a DISCOVERY of things not ever discussed.

For my client, the end result was that his dental practice went from collections of less than $60K per month to collections of $150K per month in the space of twenty months.

Of course, there were some other small tweaks we made in that dental office that really skyrocketed his results.

If you’d like to know what else I did to create these results, and how I can help you do the same, or EVEN BETTER,  then email me david@theUPE.com and put the word “SKYROCKET” in the subject line. 

There is a better way….

Sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know.

I’ve also worked with dental offices where the dentists are so high and mighty  about their role in hygiene that the whole office ends up being a RABBLE.

And that’s being polite.

There’s a reason why the Yellow Brick Road was yellow. It was to keep Dorothy on track as to where she needed to go.

Otherwise “THE WIZARD OF OZ”  might have ended up as a mini-series…. or worse still, as a long running soap opera….

*****

Make sure you subscribe to my monthly Dental Water Cooler Podcast Series…. “The Ultimate Patient Experience”

Click on this link for all details

*****

My next public speaking presentation showing Dentists how to grow their Dental practices will be in Sydney on November 9-10 and in Melbourne on November 12-13 with Dr Christopher Phelps, Dr Nathan Jeal, Mr Alex Lalovic and Mr Tiger Safarov.

For more information and to secure your seat click this link here.

*****

Have you read my book , How To Build The Dental Practice of Your Dreams [Without Killing Yourself!] In Less Than Sixty Days.

You can order your copy here: Click Link To Order

*****

The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

Email me at david@theupe.com

Slight Lack of Attention To Detail…

Slight Lack of Attention To Detail…

You’ll never guess what happened.

Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up.

My wife and I were attending a two-day conference in the USA last week.

Picture this.

We’d arrived late the evening before Day 1.

Day 1 of the conference kicked off at 8:00am, and went through to 500:pm, following which, my wife and I raced back to our hotel room for a quick “freshen up” before meeting some friends for dinner at 6:00pm.

When we arrived at our room to “freshen up” we were surprised that our room had not been made up.

However, on close examination, it was evident that our room had been partly attended to…. our bin had been emptied, and we had fresh towels in the bathroom.

No big deal…. we phoned up guest services to let them know.

We figured that our room attendants had obviously been distracted, and completion of our room had been overlooked.

And off we went to dinner….

But what happened next will amaze you….

When we returned to our room after dinner, can you guess what awaited us?

An unmade bed!!

Nothing had been done.

In four and a half hours!!

And you can imagine, that at this point in time, after travelling twenty-four hours and half way around the world the previous day, that all that my wife and I wanted to do was to curl up in a nice clean bed, and go to sleep….

So we rang guest services again.

Here’s what I was told:

“We can send an attendant up now to make your bed sir, but you’ll have to leave the room while they’re there.”

I replied:

“Yes sure.”

But deep inside I was saying to myself:

“Are you kidding me?”

You see, except for a short one hour period, during the previous fourteen and a half hours our room HAD been vacant and unattended…. so why on earth could it not have been fully serviced during that time?

And so, half an hour later….

You guessed it…

Two very unhappy travelers, tired and now cranky, without a made-up bed to get into.

You see, it wasn’t so much that the bed was unmade. It was more the fact that on the previous night, [our first night] we had discovered that the bottom sheet on the bed was not a full-sized fitted KING sheet for a king-sized bed, but was rather an eighteen inches short of the mark flat Queen sheet, finishing up short of the foot of the bed and leaving an exposed mattress way down under the top sheet.

Was it too much to ask for a properly made up bed?

So I called up to guest services again to find out where our room attendant could be?

They were very apologetic….

“We will credit you with ten thousand bonus guest points to your account.”

And then another twenty minutes passed….

And still no room attendant….

Picture this:

It is now 11:20pm. I am in my pyjamas doing some email clearing…

My wife decides she needs to go searching downstairs for a room attendant.

She returns, followed shortly after by two clerical team members, who have come from the reception area of the hotel.

These two ladies are angels.

Together, they helped to reconstruct our bed, with fresh, but ill-fitting sheets, so that my wife and I could settle down for a comfortable night of sleeping.

Throughout their visit, these two ladies, who were not from housekeeping, were very sympathetic as well as empathetic, to our situation. 

The next day…

The following day, my wife and I had a full day of class, from 8:00am to 4:00pm. We returned to our room at 4:00pm and then went out at 5:50pm to dine with friends.

Upon our return from dinner, at 10:30pm, we were pleasantly surprised to receive a large plate of chocolate dessert, and a bottle of sparkling water.

Along with a hand-written note.

Not from the manager, but from the two wonderful clerical ladies, apologizing again for the disappointment that my wife and I had experienced, and that they hoped that they had been able to be of some assistance to us.

What’s your point David?

And how is this relevant to dental?

It’s easy, during the day to day running of our dental practices, and getting done what we have to get done, to forget sometimes about the emotional journeys our patients are on.

And sometimes those patients have been going through some very serious emotional times.

Do you stop, and say to your patients:

“How are things?” and “How are things, REALLY?”

How often do you stop and chat with your patients about THEM?

How often do you make a pot of tea, or two coffees, and simply sit and visit with your valued patients?

And doctors, it doesn’t have to be you…. this is a very simple task you can delegate to your front office concierge who is meeting and greeting your patients anyway.

Many elderly patients will be more than happy to sit and share, often because nobody in their lives seems to have the time available to spend with them, or because there sometimes even isn’t anybody willing to listen to them.

Have you written a handwritten note lately to any of your customers or patients?

Does your dental office take the time to simply sit down and send out handwritten cards to patients of the day, passing a comment about something that patient shared during their visit?

The handwritten card is a very powerful yet inexpensive tool to have in your dental practice toolbox when it comes going above and beyond, especially in the instances of service recovery.

And it is also a very powerful tool to use on a regular basis to send out warm messages to valued patients for no particular reason….to send out just because….

Are you and your dental office sending out handwritten cards on a daily basis to your valued patients and customers?

Because, if you are not, you can bet that one of your neighbouring dental offices IS sending out those cards.

And guess what?

If you are not, your patients will soon be hearing from their friends and neighbours who are receiving cards from THEIR dentists, and sooner or later, your patients might just switch dentists.

Would they?

Or wouldn’t they?

*****

Make sure you subscribe to my monthly Dental Water Cooler Podcast Series…. “The Ultimate Patient Experience”

Click on this link for all details

*****

My next public speaking presentation showing Dentists how to grow their Dental practices will be in Sydney on November 9-10 and in Melbourne on November 12-13 with Dr Christopher Phelps, Dr Nathan Jeal, Mr Alex Lalovic and Mr Tiger Safarov.

For more information and to secure your seat click this link here.

*****

Have you read my book , How To Build The Dental Practice of Your Dreams [Without Killing Yourself!] In Less Than Sixty Days.

 

Other People’s Perceptions May Not Be Your Reality

Other People’s Perceptions May Not Be Your Reality

Have you ever tried to discuss the workload of school teachers with a teacher?

Working only six hour days… having to take twelve weeks of vacation each year….

And then there’s high school teachers. They don’t even have classes each and every hour of each and every day?

It’s the same for dentists….

They often only work four days per week.

Sometimes less.

It’s not physically exhausting…after all, all they do is sit on their tails all day long?

And they’re never available when you want one.

Here is my reality

No matter how bad the economy is, nobody in the world cares to hear how tough things are for dentists.

Nobody.

Ever.

Nobody ever.

Why do they call themselves doctors?

They’re not real doctors.

They only fix teeth.

How come they call themselves doctors?

Dentists charge too much.

I can’t believe what dentists charge…why do they charge so much?

For a filling…how small is that?

And how long did it take?

And an X-ray…. all that for that tiny little picture?

Really?

It’s not like they’re performing brain surgery…

Here’s the truth…

My wife worked in my dental practice on the front desk and as a practice manager for over ten years.

But it was after I left there, and I was working at a friend’s dental practice, that I needed to restore one of her molars with a porcelain crown.

Her first.

Her first ever crown.

And here’s what she said to me at the end of that preparation appointment:

“I didn’t know how much was involved in getting a crown. You really should charge more for this.”

Dentistry can be fairly insular.

Being a dentist can make you the subject of many jokes.

Also, telling someone you meet at a function that you are a dentist can be a real conversation killer.

These two things alone can lead dentists to only ever socialise with other dentists…

In fact I’ve often said:

“Dentists don’t have friends. They only have patients, and other dentists”

Dentistry requires a lot of behind the scenes preparation.

It’s not like pulling beers.

Or driving a taxi.

There’s years and years of education involved in getting the grades to be accepted into a university.

Then there’s the years and years of studying to become a dentist once you are at university.

Then once you graduate, there’s all those years of continuing education.

And there’s the cash investment

 It costs money to go to university.

It costs money to build a dental office, or to buy into a dental office.

And loans are not cheap.

Does the general public really have a grasp on these things when they tell you your prices are too high?

And what about the cost of all that fancy equipment?

We’re not talking about a desk and a chair and a few pens here…

There’s some pretty fancy machines in those dental offices now.

“And the chairs look more like spaceships than they do like the old barbers’ chairs….”

“And what about all those fancy hook tools they use now?”

Here’s my thought:

For the way that society perceives dentists, and for all that pain and suffering that’s heaped upon them by applying social stigmas, I think dentistry is a pretty tough game.

Sometimes, employing staff can be difficult.

And sometimes, patients and customers can also be difficult.

One of my mentors, who was not a dentist, said this about dealing with difficult customers, in a non-dental field…

He said, that no matter what EXTRA FEE that you charged those troublesome customers to make up for the difficulty that they cause you each time you deal with them….. IT WILL NEVER BE ENOUGH.

And he said, that although it is something extra, that extra amount will give you some solace that at least that difficult customer has paid SOMETHING MORE than if they had been treated as just the same as every other regular, well-behaved customer.

Please…

Make sure that you are suitably compensated to make up for the fact that most people’s perceptions are not your reality. 

Otherwise, what’s the point?

*****

My next public speaking presentation showing Dentists how to grow their Dental practices will be in Sydney on November 9-10 and in Melbourne on November 12-13 with Dr Christopher Phelps, Dr Nathan Jeal, Mr Alex Lalovic and Mr Tiger Safarov.

For more information and to secure your seat click this link here.

*****

Have you read my book , How To Build The Dental Practice of Your Dreams [Without Killing Yourself!] In Less Than Sixty Days.

You can order your copy here: Click Link To Order

*****

The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

Email me at david@theupe.com

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Are You Respecting Your Patient’s Time?

Are You Respecting Your Patient’s Time?

I was on a call today with a coaching client. It was interesting because the client had asked me whether I could begin the call fifteen minutes earlier than scheduled because the patient that was due for their appointment at the time we were scheduled to end the call was a patient who invariably ALWAYS arrived earlier than her appointment time.

And my client, the dentist, always liked to see this lady earlier than her allotted time if that was ever possible.

And that is a good frame of mind to work in.

And I congratulated him for doing so….

Because you see, if you want your patients to arrive early for their appointments, you need to run to schedule or ahead of schedule.

Because the converse is also true.

Recently I worked with a dental office where the dentist was always running behind schedule.

ALWAYS.

All day….

And guess what?

His patients were so used to him keeping them waiting that most of the patients I saw there never arrived early for their appointments.

And sometimes even arrived late.

Because, as they said, the dentist was never on time and never kept to time….

It’s about mutual respect.

If you want your customers to respect your time you need to respect their time.

A good friend of mine says his father always said:

“If you’re not fifteen minutes early, you’re late”

And to me that makes a heck of a lot of sense.

If you want someone to respect your time you need to begin by respecting them and their time.

You do need to lead by example.

We have a local medico GP where I live who runs so late with his patients and their appointments that the office advises them to phone ahead and check to see “how late” he’s running, and whether they are able to delay their arrival at his rooms.

That’s not a good look….

And that’s not a great way to provide a world class experience for your paying customers.

Don’t run late.

Don’t be known for running late.

Because if you do, you’re immediately coming from a position of “negative” in the relationship you’re trying to establish with your clients.

Why begin by putting yourself on the back foot?

Better to be early….

*****

Have you read my book , How To Build The Dental Practice of Your Dreams [Without Killing Yourself!] In Less Than Sixty Days.

You can order your copy here: Click Link To Order

*****

The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

Email me at david@theupe.com

Did you like this blog article? If you did then hit the share buttons below and share it with your friends and colleagues. Share it via email, Facebook and twitter!!

We Don’t See What We Don’t See

We Don’t See What We Don’t See

Sometimes you need a second set of eyes.

Good eyes.

And I’m not just talking about dental loupes.

As a business owner, sometimes you need to have a second pair of eyes looking out for you.

A guardian angel perhaps?

Someone who has got your back, maybe….

Someone who keeps you pointed in the right direction…

And also someone who sees opportunity ahead that sometimes you don’t actually even see at all….

Because sometimes when you are focused on an outcome that may be way off plan or way off into the future, you miss seeing some day to day opportunities presenting themselves right there in front of you, staring back up at you in the face.

I recently was discussing marketing with a dentist and his wife, who were building up a start up dental practice. The wife was working in the practice as the dental assistant and receptionist combined.

Interestingly, the thought of marketing themselves as husband and wife together had never seriously crossed their minds.

I suggested that some professional photos of the couple as well as of them and their children, strategically placed in the dental practice, would go a long way to building a stronger relationship with their clients.

You see, sometimes we forget that new patients calling a new dental practice and then subsequently attending that practice are really quite terrified about what is about to unfold.

It’s because of the fear of the unknown.

They don’t know you, the dentist, and they are scared about what you are going to do for them.

And as dentists, we tend to build up an immunity towards this serious emotion our new patients are going through.

All that a new patient is looking for is assurance that they have made the correct decision in choosing your dental office.

And the strategic placement of “happy family” and “happy couple” photographs around the dental practice go a long way toward sending the message out there to your new customer that they have now found their new dental home.

It’s a subliminal message. And it’s a good one to use to your advantage when you can.

Rather than not use at all….

*****

Have you read my book , How To Build The Dental Practice of Your Dreams [Without Killing Yourself!] In Less Than Sixty Days.

You can order your copy here: Click Link To Order

*****

The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

Email me at david@theupe.com

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Successfully Administering The Profitable Dental Practice. Who’s Got Your Back?

Successfully Administering The Profitable Dental Practice. Who’s Got Your Back?

Inventor Lori Greiner said:

“Entrepreneurs are willing to work an 80 hour work to avoid a 40 hour week” 

Sometimes the rest of the world needs to know this.

After all, as a dental practice business owner, when do you really switch off?

After working four or five days a week drilling teeth, or more, you then have to turn around and find time to “run” the business, don’t you?

You know…. you’re expected to do the HR, supervise the payroll, oversee and sometimes invent the marketing, do the business planning, pay the bills, organise the insurances….the list goes on…

And who has the time then for being a dentist?

It would seem that many in society, including some dentists themselves, don’t appreciate the long hours put in by dental practice owners in running a dental practice, on top of all the time spent drilling teeth.

Why would you not want to be remunerated for all of those extra hours of business administration?

Sadly, a lot of dentists discount this time.

Recently in a discussion with employees of a well-known dental association, the time required for this sort of business administration was “brushed aside” by one of the association employees as:

“something the dentist can do on the weekend”

To which I asked:

“Why?”

Because if the dentist did not do it, these duties would be performed by hired help who would and should be remunerated for doing so…. so why not remunerate the dentist?

Interestingly, a lot of corporate roll-up buy-outs engage the selling dentist to continue the administration, without ever remunerating the selling dentist for these ongoing administrations that the business, and the purchaser, still requires.

Sadly, some people within the dental industry brush over the importance of these behind the scenes services provided by the owners that are indeed an integral part of the ongoing success of the dental practice.

The value of these services performed by the owning dentist are continually downplayed by staff, dentists, and also by customers of the business.

A great dental practice just does not happen by accident.

The behind the scenes work done by the owners is often the bricks and mortar foundation that the business of the practice is built upon….and is too often taken for granted.

Success doesn’t happen by magic.

It is the result of particular preparation, planning, and hard work.

Make sure that everybody understands this.

*****

My next public speaking presentation showing Dentists how to grow their Dental practices will be in London England on Saturday 4 August 2018 with Jayne Bandy.

For more information and to secure your seat click this link here.

*****

Have you read my book , How To Build The Dental Practice of Your Dreams [Without Killing Yourself!] In Less Than Sixty Days.

You can order your copy here: Click Link To Order

*****

The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

Email me at david@theupe.com

Did you like this blog article? If you did then hit the share buttons below and share it with your friends and colleagues. Share it via email, Facebook and twitter!!

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