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How to Become Recognized as THE Cosmetic Dentist Part 2

Dr  Harvey Silverman How many times have you heard a patient say, “Let me go home and think about it” or perhaps, “Let me talk to my husband (or wife) about it” after a cosmetic consultation? There are many excuses, or even hidden objections, causing patients to “hold-off” on proposed cosmetic dentistry.

The bottom line though is that this does not have to be the case. I know that from teaching dentists how to step up the cosmetic component of their practice for over 25 years.

So what is the best approach and how long does it take to expand the cosmetic component in your practice? At the Silverman Institute of Cosmetic Dentistry we found that no matter where you practice the good news is that it does not take months to take your cosmetic dentistry practice to the next level.

It can happen in one day if you are willing to make a commitment to distinguishing the cosmetic component in your practice.

Even in today’s economy patients want to have a self-confident smile and to look/feel their best. In order to achieve this cosmetic expert status, you need to cultivate outstanding clinical skills. The good news is that it is easier to do that today than ever before with non-invasive/minimally invasive veneers.

See Figure 1 and 2 below. Simultaneously we must look at our work environment. You might as well do that today since your patients are doing that when they enter your dental practice every day.

Figure 1: This patient is undergoing the final phase of Invisalign treatment

Figure 1:

This patient is undergoing the final phase of Invisalign treatment by another dentist.  He is interested in knowing what can be done to enhance the final esthetics of his case.

Figure 2: After doing a custom-designed 60 Second Smile Trial directly on tooth #7

Figure 2:

After doing a custom-designed 60 Second Smile Trial directly on tooth #7, the patient can see exactly what the final outcome of the case will look like.  The patient is also considering tooth whitening prior to doing the in-office LifeLike Veneer™.

Step 1: Creating Self-awareness Through a Self-evaluation of Your Practice

Here’s a simple suggestion on how you can accomplish that. Walk out of the office for a moment. Okay now come back in and look around. What do you notice? Does anything you see in your reception area jump out at you?

Write down some notes on a piece of paper.

After doing that let’s step out of the office again – and come back in. Now this time I want you to look around the office with a different perspective, as if you are a patient. What does your office say about you as a cosmetic dentist? Is there anything in the reception area that informs, educates and motivates patients to learn how recent advances in cosmetic dentistry can enhance their smile? What silently provides your patients with increased confidence in your cosmetic dentistry skills?

Is there anything that you see that helps distinguish you as a skilled, talented cosmetic dentist?

I can go on and on but I think you get where I am going.

This exercise is something I have dentists do during our cosmetic dentistry Boot Camp program. The result is that the dentist and the entire team learn to think about the unspoken message your office is sending to your patients. This may seem obvious enough but when was the last time you sat down in your reception area and looked around – seeing the office from the eyes of a patient? When you do this you and your team will learn what needs to be done to build cosmetic awareness.

So what should your practice look like?

If you snap a few photos of your reception area (no more than 5) and send them in jpg format to my email address at incrediblesmiles@aol.com, I will be happy to review them and provide you with a few complimentary suggestions on simple changes you might want to make.

This is a very important first step for you if you want to take your cosmetic practice to the next level and I’d like to help you accomplish that goal.

In the next edition of How To Become Recognized As THE Cosmetic Dentist In Your Community:

Step 2. SCRAP THE TABLOIDS, SHARE SOME SMILES

About the author:

Dr  Harvey Silverman Dr. Harvey Silverman has successfully coached dentists on how to take their cosmetic dentistry practice to the next level since 1984. If you want information on how the Silverman Institute’s Cosmetic Dentistry Boot Camp Program can take your cosmetic practice to the next level, contact Dr Silverman at (216) 256-4599 or e-mail him at incrediblesmiles@aol.com.

Dr Silverman is the author of Best Cosmetic Dentistry Practices in Dental Products Report as well as Silverman On Smiles in Dentistry Today and is the inventor of the LifeLike Veneer System™ and the EasySmile Tooth Whitening System™ that will be available to dentists in 2012.

How to Become Recognized as THE Cosmetic Dentist Part 3

Dr  Harvey Silverman Last week, I shared with you the first step of How to Become Recognized as THE Cosmetic Dentist in Your Community Part 2 Creating Self-Awareness Through A Self -Evaluation of Your Practice.

The most successful practices that we have worked with have followed these simple steps in their quest to reach this goal. In an effort to help you achieve those same successes, let’s move on to the next step.

Step 2 — SCRAP THE TABLOIDS, SHARE SOME SMILES

Where is your cosmetic dentistry photo album? Is it hidden under a pile of magazines?

As a prospective patient would you have a challenge even seeing this educational tool while you are in the reception area? Now open the album and look at the photos — are they better suited to be placed in a dental journal than as a motivational tool demonstrating how your cosmetic services enhanced your patients’ self-image?

Are the photos examples of your work or are they from a commercially produced album? Can your team talk with sincerity about the positive impact these transformations made if they are from a commercially available album?

Typical magazine table in a dental office

Caption: A photo of a reception area taken prior to Boot Camp. Too many popular magazines create clutter. This does not help in your mission to inform and educate patients about recent advances in cosmetic dentistry that may benefit them.

My suggestion: Get rid of the clutter of magazines and prominently place your photo album in the reception area — and only show transformations you have personally made.

marketing in your waiting area

Caption: During Boot Camp we do some minor office design changes – such as the above. You can do the same yourself.

However, there is one caveat about photo albums. While they are helpful, your team needs to know how to power educate when dental patients look at before and after photos. Having a patient simply flip through pages in the album is informative at best.

For example, some albums do not even clearly differentiate if the procedure was a crown or a veneer. And if was a veneer, was it a non-invasive veneer or did you have to prep the teeth? You and your team can add your own thoughts on the various queries patients have when looking at your photo album.

At the Silverman Institute’s Cosmetic Dentistry Boot Camp Program we found it challenging to motivate patients by simply leaving patient education materials in the reception area. Instead we advocate power educating because it is a technique that is easy to master, leverages your teams’ belief in your cosmetic skills and converts interest into a truly motivated patient — where the patient is ready to say “Yes” to proceeding with cosmetic dentistry services.

In Part 4 of How To Become Recognized As THE Cosmetic Dentist In Your Community we are going to explore Step 3 — THE EFFECTIVE USE OF A SMILE ANALYSIS FORM.

I am going to share a simple, sensible method that the dentists I consult with use. This technique helps them understand what elective cosmetic dental enhancements patients still want. I can appreciate that you may believe that your patients of record who had interest in enhancing their smile already discussed their interest with you. The surprise – and good news – is that is not necessarily the case.

About the author:

Dr  Harvey Silverman Dr. Harvey Silverman has successfully coached dentists on how to take their cosmetic dentistry practice to the next level since 1984. If you want information on how the Silverman Institute’s Cosmetic Dentistry Boot Camp Program can take your cosmetic practice to the next level, contact Dr Silverman at (216) 256-4599 or e-mail him at incrediblesmiles@aol.com.

Dr Silverman is the author of Best Cosmetic Dentistry Practices in Dental Products Report as well as Silverman On Smiles in Dentistry Today and is the inventor of the LifeLike Veneer System™ and the EasySmile Tooth Whitening System™ that will be available to dentists in 2012.

How to Become Recognized as THE Cosmetic Dentist Part 4

How to Become Recognized as THE Cosmetic Dentist in Your Community Part 4Last week, I shared with you the third step of How to Become Recognized as THE Cosmetic Dentist in Your Community Part 3: Scrap the Tabloids, Share Some Smiles.

So now that you’ve completed your self-evaluation of the practice and cleaned up the clutter of magazines in the reception room and replaced them with a practice promoting photo album and know the value of power educating with collateral materials…

You might be wondering, “What’s next?”

Step 3: EFFECTIVE USE OF A SMILE ANALYSIS FORM

How do you utilize the information gained in your Smile Analysis Form? Do you even have a form or is it a single question on your health history form – asking patients if they want to change anything about their smile? If you do use a form, was it designed to create the comfort level that patients need to confide what enhancements they are looking to have?

Once the form is filled out what does your receptionist do to help create awareness among your other team members that this patient might have some issues they need to address? While the patient is waiting in the reception area what does the receptionist do after reviewing the form regarding addressing the possible services that might solve their esthetic concerns?

Your receptionist will never diagnose, however they should be actively involved in the process. Remember the Power Triad Rx: To inform, educate and remove hidden objections that result in a motivated patient.

THE 80% RULE

Your receptionist is one of the KEY team members who can make or break your cosmetic program. Whether welcoming patients to the practice, answering questions on the phone — or in the office –- your practice and your patients will benefit when your receptionist and other team members have updated their cosmetic skill set.

Sounds easy enough but it does require dedication and effort. The good news is that this new skill set will be seamless with your existing systems when your receptionist works with the Silverman Institute’s 80% Rule.

The concept is simple…80% of the time, while you are in an operatory treating a patient, another team member should be informing, educating and motivating other patients about various cosmetic services.

Dr Silverman teaching the receptionist the 80% Rule at Boot Camp

Dr Silverman teaching the receptionist the 80% Rule at Boot Camp. “The key is not just having your patient fill out a form, but using the 80 Percent Rule in conjunction with the information obtained in the form.”

For example, while you’re completing the final touches on a Non-Invasive Veneer case, a patient is in the reception area talking to your receptionist. In addition to exchanging pleasantries, your receptionist reviews your next patient’s Smile Enhancement Form.

Noticing that the patient would like to enhance some of her teeth your receptionist takes advantage of this time to use the Power Triad Rx described above.

The reception area is where interest is generated while the patient is waiting to be seen by the doctor or the hygienist.

Don’t waste this opportunity to inform, power educate and motivate these patients. The truly cosmetically focused team will want to know how to maximize this key player.

COMPLIMENTARY REVIEW AND FORMS

My suggestion: Consider your Smile Analysis Form as a tool to gather information.

Don’t let it collect dust while the patient is waiting to be seen. Highlight the form with a yellow marker indicating what changes your patient was hoping to have made.

Would you like a complimentary copy of the Silverman Institute’s Boot Camp Smile Enhancement Form?

Simply send me a request to incrediblesmiles@aol.com with a brief explanation of why you hope this form will be helpful to you – and I will be happy to forward a copy of our form to you that you can test and see how it works with your patient population. (If you can include a copy of your office logo letterhead with the email then we can customize the form for your office).

And don’t forget to send me up to 3 photos of your reception area in .jpeg format if you would like me to offer some complimentary advice on how you might be able to enhance your cosmetic dentistry message.

In the next edition of How To Become Recognized As THE Cosmetic Dentist In Your Community:

Step 4: MOTIVATING OFFICE DECOR

About the author:

Dr  Harvey Silverman Dr. Harvey Silverman has successfully coached dentists on how to take their cosmetic dentistry practice to the next level since 1984. If you want information on how the Silverman Institute’s Cosmetic Dentistry Boot Camp Program can take your cosmetic practice to the next level, contact Dr Silverman at (216) 256-4599 or e-mail him at incrediblesmiles@aol.com.

Dr Silverman is the author of Best Cosmetic Dentistry Practices in Dental Products Report as well as Silverman On Smiles in Dentistry Today and is the inventor of the LifeLike Veneer System™ and the EasySmile Tooth Whitening System™ that will be available to dentists in 2012.

How to Become Recognized as THE Cosmetic Dentist: Part 5

Dr Silverman: How to Become Recognized as THE Cosmetic Dentist in Your Community Last week, I shared with you the fourth step in this series: How to Become Recognized as THE Cosmetic Dentist in Your Community Part 4: Effective Use of a Smile Analysis Form.

Now that you understand how to utilize the information gained in your Smile Analysis Form, you might be wondering, “What’s next?”

You’ve likely heard the expression, “Image is everything.” Well, this is especially true in a cosmetic-focused dental practice. What your office looks like sends a message to your patients about the type of cosmetic dentist you are.

Realistically, we all know that the office atmosphere has nothing to do with the level of clinical skills, however it’s the patients’ perception that matters the most. That perception could inevitably influence their decision of accepting cosmetic treatment.

Step 4: MOTIVATING OFFICE DÉCOR

What type of artwork, posters or other silent motivational tools relating to cosmetic dentistry do you have in your office? Are they of smiling, happy folks who project self-confidence? Do you have a few before/after posters that demonstrate dramatic smile transformations?

Even upscale offices can place effective materials that help educate and distinguish the cosmetic component of your dental practice without impacting the overall appearance of your office.

My suggestion: If you are married to your artwork and do not want to make any changes, let’s look at augmenting what you have. When you send me a few photos of your reception area in jpeg format that I previously offered (in Step 1) make sure I can see the artwork and where you may have some barren wall space.

While we do not want to have clutter, we may want to look at creating a Smile Wall that silently motivates your patients.

Below is an example how you can create your own Smile Wall if space is a premium —

create your own Smile Wall

LifeLike Veneers™ performed by Dr Harvey Silverman, Beachwood, OH

 

Another example is from Dr Mireya Ortega, a very talented dentist from Lake Tahoe, CA. Dr Ortega had me visit her office and do a Cosmetic Dentistry Boot Camp Program for her practice because she wanted to take her cosmetic practice to the next level.

After our Boot Camp Program one of the many things she did was to slightly modify her office décor. She started with one poster photographed during the hands-on training component at Boot Camp (see below) and ultimately created her own Smile Wall —

 

Dr Mireya Ortega Smile Wall

Dr. Mireya Ortega Smile Wall

 

One word of caution: Creating a Smile Wall will be most beneficial when you use these tools as a spring board to power educate your patients about how recent advances in technology can benefit them. Please review the articles I have published in Dental Products Report or in Dentistry Today if you care to learn more about how you might accomplish that goal.

In the next edition of How To Become Recognized As THE Cosmetic Dentist In Your Community Part 6:

Step 5: WHO’S YOUR SMILE CONSULTANT?

About the author:

Dr  Harvey Silverman Dr. Harvey Silverman has successfully coached dentists on how to take their cosmetic dentistry practice to the next level since 1984. If you want information on how the Silverman Institute’s Cosmetic Dentistry Boot Camp Program can take your cosmetic practice to the next level, contact Dr Silverman at (216) 256-4599 or e-mail him at incrediblesmiles@aol.com.

Dr Silverman is the author of Best Cosmetic Dentistry Practices in Dental Products Report as well as Silverman On Smiles in Dentistry Today and is the inventor of the LifeLike Veneer System™ and the EasySmile Tooth Whitening System™ that will be available to dentists in 2012.

How to Become Recognized as THE Cosmetic Dentist: Part 6

How to Become Recognized as THE Cosmetic DentistIn the past several weeks, I have had the opportunity to share with you the 5 dental marketing steps to help you achieve the goal of becoming recognized as the cosmetic dentist in your community.

By now you understand that one of the essential components to accomplishing this starts with fine-tuning your cosmetic dentistry patient education skills in your office.

Why is this one of the critical elements in becoming recognized as the cosmetic dentist in your community? You have undoubtedly heard that a house has to be built on a firm foundation. Your cosmetic house has to be built upon a firm foundation as well. You can do this by staying current with CE courses on cosmetic dentistry and developing outstanding technical sills to build that foundation.

However, avoid a common mistake what some of our colleagues make. Don’t assume patients know that you have the ability to solve their cosmetic dental issues with affordable, non-invasive (when appropriate) procedures.

Most patients simply do not know.

Therefore, compliment your technical skill set with a no-selling patient education program that clearly defines to your patients how they, too, can benefit from these same day non-invasive procedures. Here’s how that can be accomplished. The final step in this process that I would like to share with you has to do with role definition.

Step 5: WHO’S YOUR SMILE CONSULTANT?

Do you have a team member that you have designated as your Smile Consultant? Who is your patient advocate that you consider to be your best patient educator/motivator in your office?

This is the individual who will share with your patients the advantages/liabilities of some of the cosmetic services your patient might be interested in. While your designated Smile Consultant will never diagnose, he/she can inform, educate and motivate patients about the possibilities that may solve their smile problem.

After your patient has filled out a Smile Enhancement Form your Smile Consultant will review what changes your patient hopes to have done. However during the conversation with your patient your Smile Consultant should provide a disclaimer by saying something similar to the following, “I hope that the doctor determines you are a candidate for this procedure. If you are I know you will be thrilled with the results.”

Needless to say this statement must be based upon sincere feelings.

If you do not have a Smile Consultant right now, don’t worry. Most dental practices do not. However, if you want to create a cosmetically focused dental practice or take your existing cosmetic practice to the next level, training a team member as your Smile Consultant is essential in differentiating your practice as one of the premier cosmetic practices in your community.  As part of our Boot Camp program we can also do that for you.

My suggestion: Which team member has a passion about cosmetic dentistry in your practice?

They are your spark plug – the individual who can become a truly effective Smile Consultant. In all of the Boot Camp programs I have always promised the dentist and the entire team that there will never be any selling when you talk to your patients about cosmetic dentistry.

The good news is that there never is any selling. Your Smile Consultant will therefore NOT be a sales person. The Silverman Institute’s Smile Consultant™ program teaches your designated spark plug (and all Team members as well) how to effectively use the Power Triad that was described at the introduction of this series – and in essence, all team members can become Smile Consultants.

We even have a Smile Consultant Certification Program developed for that purpose. So rest assured, no one will ever sell anything – and best yet, using professional, no-selling strategies, your results will be spectacular!

Think of all of the cosmetic dental marketing opportunities that exist in your office from the articles written in this series about the impact you can have using the 80% Rule. And we have not even left the reception area! By now you can hopefully sense how much interest/demand can be generated for your cosmetic services if you truly want to learn how to take your cosmetic practice to the next level.

Cosmetic dentistry is one of the few services that we offer patients that they truly want to have done. It also leads to other tangible benefits. Patients typically take better care of themselves including enhanced oral health. The New Year is just around the corner.

Set aside a plan on how you can offer your patients the optimum in aesthetic dentistry that can truly benefit them.

Remember that without a plan you may be disappointed with a lack of results. Worse yet, your patients will not benefit from your services that can have a positive impact on their self-confidence and their lives.

I hope that the suggestions that I have offered during the past six articles will help you take your cosmetic practice and dental marketing to the next level in the coming year. If I can be of any further assistance to you please do not hesitate to contact me at incrediblesmiles@aol.com.

I look forward to helping you accomplish that goal!

About the author:

Dr  Harvey Silverman Dr. Harvey Silverman has successfully coached dentists on how to take their cosmetic dentistry practice to the next level since 1984. If you want information on how the Silverman Institute’s Cosmetic Dentistry Boot Camp Program can take your cosmetic practice to the next level, contact Dr Silverman at (216) 256-4599 or e-mail him at incrediblesmiles@aol.com.

Dr Silverman is the author of Best Cosmetic Dentistry Practices in Dental Products Report as well as Silverman On Smiles in Dentistry Today and is the inventor of the LifeLike Veneer System™ and the EasySmile Tooth Whitening System™ that will be available to dentists in 2012.

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