Survey: What Questions Do Patients Ask About Dental Implants?

top 5 questions patients ask about implantsWe conducted a survey that asked dentists what questions dental patients ask when considering getting implants. It turns out that there’s a real difference between the questions dental implant patients do ask — and which questions they should be asking.

Dentists responded with the following . . .

The top 5 questions dental patients ask –

  1. How much do dental implants cost?
  2. How long do dental implants last?
  3. Are implants painful?
  4. How long will it take to get my new teeth?
  5. Does dental insurance cover implant surgery?

Versus . . .

The top 5 questions dentists want patients to ask –

  1. Am I a good candidate for implants?
  2. What are the potential complications of dental implant therapy?
  3. How much implant experience does the doctor have?
  4. What is the healing time for my implants?
  5. Can implants improve my appearance?

Many dental implant patients seem to have the same questions about dental implant therapy. Unfortunately, these questions aren’t necessarily the ones dentists think they should be asking.

The 2 main questions patients ask are –

  1. How much do dental implants cost?
  2. Will dental implant surgery be painful?

When dentists feel their very first question should be –

  1. Am I a good candidate for dental implants?

There is really a disconnect between the doctor and patient. This is no surprise, since patients are thinking about how they are going to pay for the implants, and whether the procedure will be painful.

But doctors can’t afford not to address the primary concerns of the patient first: cost and pain.

One dentist wrote, “Long term, when the conditions are favorable, proper bone density, height and width, proper biomechanical considerations, proper occlusal load. A dental implant is more cost effective over a 3 unit bridge. However, when the above conditions are not meet — the 3 unit bridge (with sufficient ferule, impressions taken with custom made tray and properly impressioned, properly articulated, preprosthetic endodontic treatment performed by an endodontist, core-restoration — not in composite) will be more cost effective (for the patient).”

Read more: Dental Implant Questions for the Dentist

The Truth About Dentists Needing More New Patients

Fully 68% of dentists think that they need more new patients. Only 9% say they have as many new patients as they need. 23% are just getting by.

“We need new patients. This is possibly due to the fact that we have chosen not to engage in managed care, i.e., our name is not on these lists,” opined a New Jersey dentist.

The Truth About Dentists Needing More New Patients

Here are just a few of the comments from dentists on needing more new patients:

“New patient flow has tapered off!!” (California dentist

Our town has had no growth in several years, so new patients are hard to come by.” (Texas dentist)

“We need patients with more $$$$” (Minnesota dentist)

“What battle are we fighting? Poor economy? Patients in a general funk and therefore just putting off dental care? Decreasing insurance coverage? Lack of perceived need? Etc? Etc? If we knew the enemy, it would be easier to address.” (Iowa dentist)

“New patient influx is affected by the holidays. We don’t see as many in November and December!” (General dentist)

“I have a unusual practice. I own a walk-in dental ER. We need about 200 new patients in pain. We have been open about 2 years and are starting to get some (50%) referrals. About 15% are now returns. Radio and the Internet account for most. The phone book gets a few older adults. This is a new idea for Springfield MO. and I am pleased with the progress.” (Missouri ER dentist)

“We have gone back to the dirty days of hucksterism and bait-and-switch in this profession. New patients are bought, stolen and traded. The destroy the reputation game on the Internet leaves patients confused and distrusting. Dentists are regaining the reputation of thieving ‘sharpies’.” (Pennsylvania dentist)

“How about a survey asking if dentists feel this recession is ending? Getting worse? Or developed into a depression? The driver of my lab (one of the largest in the state) that is a very good friend/patient says that half the employees are laid off and the other half are forced to take every 4th day off from lack of business from dentists. We are in crisis mode but no one wants to talk publicly about it.” (Indiana dentist)

Dentists Prefer Facebook For Their Dental Marketing

Dentists Prefer Facebook For Their Dental MarketingFacebook has turned into a popular dental marketing tool for dentists to attract more dental patients.

9 out of 10 dentists use Facebook as their preferred place to network online.

While Facebook is facing criticism over their often-disputed privacy policies, most of the dentists using Facebook use it for both professional  and personal networking.

“We are at the beginning stages of our Facebook dental marketing. We are using it as an informational, personable and promotional platform. We are giving our patients useful information, keeping them updated on what is new in our office, and giving away prizes for liking our page. We also give patients $5 off their services when they check in! responded one dentist.

The Wealthy Dentist decided to survey dentists to ask what sort of social networking they do online, and whether it was for personal or business purposes.

Dentist use of social media

Dentists use the following social networking sites professionally –

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Blog
  • Google Plus

And for personal use?

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Plus
  • LinkedIn and blogging were used the least

Here are some dentist comments:

“We have a business Facebook page which does well for us. I update it regularly and have a couple staff that like to write updates on the wall, too.” (Ohio prosthodontist)

“I haven’t yet figured out what to make of Twitter.” (General dentist)

“I still prefer word-of-mouth recommendations most of all.” (Arizona dentist)

“I really do not have the time or inclination to follow through with these media platforms.” (Massachusetts dentist)

With Facebook about to make a public of offering, which is estimated to bring in about 10 billion dollars, it is time for just about every dental practice that is serious about dental marketing to get on the Facebook bus!

Dentist Survey: What Is The Average Cost of Dentures?

cost of dentures survey post

The cost of dentures tends to be a few thousand dollars, which is still a bargain considering how much dental implants cost.

“Whatever you can charge, it’s never enough!” said a Tennessee dentist who is currently charging $3,000 for dentures.

“Most denture cases are fun,” said an Oregon Dentist. “The patients are grateful and not demanding in terms of scheduling, and they don’t complain if they have to wait five minutes. The occasional case from hell just has to be accepted as that – an occasional case from hell.”

The Wealthy Dentist conducted a survey that asked dentists if they offer dentures and what their fees for dentures is.

96% of the dentists surveyed offer dentures, as outlined in the following dental survey video –

104-Cost_of_Dentures.mp4

One general dentist reported charging as little as $1,000, while a prosthodontist defended his $10,000 fee for dentures.

Managing expectations of denture patients can be a real challenge, especially if they think they are going to pay a few hundred dollars for high quality false teeth.

Please sign up to receive for The Wealthy Dentist newsletter and you can cast your own vote in future dentist surveys.

Targeted Dental Marketing: Dentists Are Split Over the Value

Targeted Dental Marketing: Dentists Are Split Over the ValueSelecting a target market for a particular dental treatment rather than attempting to market to all types of dental patients can be a more efficient use of dental marketing dollars.

By focusing dental marketing resources on a specific patient base, dentists can carve out a market niche over their competition.

To find out how dentists are doing with target-specific dental marketing, The Wealthy Dentist conducted a survey asking dentists if they target specific types of new patients with their dental marketing.

Dentists were split right down the middle with 50% saying they do target specific types of patients and 50% saying they do not.

Of the dentists who do target their dental marketing, here’s what they target —

27% General family
22% Cosmetic dentistry
11% Dental implants
09% Invisalign
08% Gum disease
08% Sedation dentistry
07% Dentures
02% Dental insurance
02% Urgent care
02% Children
01% Prosthodontics

Here’s what dentists had to say on the subject of targeting specific dental patients –

“We welcome all kinds of patients!” (Rural Texas dentist)

“We also target higher income.” (General dentist)

“I have done it in the past for Ortho and Implants. I had separate websites for each. It only made sense. Like hunting, take the best equipment for what you want.” (Missouri dentist)

“We also offer incentives for referral business from our current patients.” (Kentucky dentist)

For more on targeted dental marketing see our in-depth research report on eleven specific dental markets.

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