Thursday, January 13, 2005

Top 10 Tools for Building a Successful Laser Practice

This article in the December Dental Economics outlines a successful incorporation of laser dentistry into mainstream dental practice.


Top 10 Tools for Building a Successful Laser Practice

1) Join the Academy of Laser Dentistry (ALD) for education, training, advanced study, and fellowship. Go to the ALD annual meeting, read the ALD Journal that comes out four times a year, participate online with the ALD forum, and get a listing of dentists who participate in mentoring and more. Check out the Web site at www.laserdentistry.org.

2) Have your staff attend laser lectures and receive training at the ALD. They want to learn about this new technology so they can speak to patients intelligently and comfortably about it. Then role-play with your staff and give them opportunities to share their knowledge.

3) Inquire about training and available courses from the company from which you buy your laser. Many laser companies offer in-office training and standard certification, as well as advanced training on their individual devices. Biolase has one of the largest user groups that offer a variety of courses, locations, and dates.

4) Update your office with modern d├ęcor and technology to attract and reassure patients that you are on the cutting edge. Don't forget those little touches, such as a spa concept with waterfalls and candles in treatment rooms. This will speak volumes about your total patient care.

5) Develop your own "before and after" photos of laser procedures, and place a photo book or two in the reception area. Visual examples speak louder than words; more so if it is your work. Take-home brochures for patients are a good resource.

6) Leave the financial details to one highly trained staff member (not the dentist). Spend your time in conversations about recommended treatment and outcomes, not their schedules or budgets. File patients' insurance but do not participate with any insurance company. And, raise your fees!

7) Write a column for the local newspaper; contact the local TV station; speak at various civic organizations. Do your homework and develop communication skills. The best speaker is one who has earned the right to speak on the topic.

8) Hand out personalized, laser-oriented business cards and patient brochures to specialists - orthodontists, plastic surgeons, dermatologists, etc. - and explain what you offer.

9) Target your marketing to the patients and procedures you wish to treat. Baby boomers are fast becoming the underserved population for cosmetic and laser treatment. Advertise in the media they support, for example, the arts.

10) Create a Web site that highlights your dentistry and puts you and your practice in a professional light. Explain laser procedures and show before-and-after pictures. Use search engines to drive patients to your area of interest - endo, pedo, cosmetic, etc. Use links to other sites such as the ALD or the AACD.
Dental Economics December, 2004
Author(s) : Janet Rice


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