When VIP = Very Important Patient: 4 Membership Club Ideas from DentalStores

Everybody likes to feel special, including your patients. In fact, experts agree that the main difference between loyalty and love is a sense of privilege. As a dentist, membership clubs are a great way to provide patients with that feeling of exclusivity. Depending on your patients’ individual needs, your membership plan might make a difference in their ability to accept treatment.

Not sure where to begin? Here are a few creative ideas for member savings clubs you can create with DentalStores:

1. Dental Membership Plan

Traditional dental savings plans are meant to enable patients without dental insurance to accept treatment. These plans are especially popular among millennials and retirees. Dental savings plans are a win-win for both you and your patients because they reduce your reliance on insurance companies and allow your patients to be seen immediately. With these types of savings plans, you’re cutting out the paperwork, waiting periods, and third-party hassles. Your patients are making small monthly payments instead of one large payment at the time of service. The subscription-based model makes securing the necessary finances less stressful for those with a fixed income or other financial worries.

2. Whitening Club

As Dr. Seuss would say, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” With teeth whitening clubs, sometimes called “Smile for Life” clubs, it never has to be over for your patients – if what you’re talking about is a brighter, whiter smile. Teeth whitening can include in-office treatment, at-home treatment, or a combination of both to remove stains from the tooth’s surface. Naturally, stains continue to accumulate over time so touchups are required for even the most careful patient. With a whitening club, you’re making those treatments affordable so your patients can maintain their ideal smile and the heightened sense of confidence that comes with it.

3. Ortho Club

Orthodontic treatment is a commitment. Why not reward your patients for taking the needed steps to ensure a beautiful smile for life by offering an ortho club? Ortho club perks can range from free or discounted x-rays and consultations to providing coupons for ortho products like wax, flossing tips, and retainer cleanser. You can even create incentives in the form of additional perks for patients who keep scheduled appointments or stay committed to their treatment instructions by practicing proper oral hygiene outside of your office.

4. VIP Club

For busy parents or patients with hectic schedules, a VIP club can be a game changer in keeping dental care at the top of their to-do list. With a VIP Club, you can offer free cancellations, additional hours, and waived emergency fees along with discounts on treatment. VIP Clubs create endless opportunities for customization and can be tailored to adults, children, or families.

Membership clubs are a great way to boost patient loyalty and increase referrals. Want to let your Very Important Patients know you appreciate them? Create your dental membership club today.


Retirees & Membership Plans: How & Why They Add Value to Your Practice

It’s no secret that reaching millennials is an important part of any marketing strategy. In the near future, millennials will surpass baby boomers as the largest adult population. But millennials aren’t the only group who would benefit from your attention.

According to a recent study, only 12 percent of older Americans have some form of dental insurance. Out of that 12 percent, fewer than half visited a dentist in the past year due to high out-of-pocket costs. The reason for this lapse in care is that most retirees are Medicare beneficiaries, and Medicare does not cover dental health.

This leaves a staggering 49 million senior citizens with no dental insurance. And the worst part is, they’re the ones who need you most.

How Retirees Benefit Your Practice

Their needs go beyond routine care: Common oral health problems in adults over 60 include xerostomia (dry mouth), tooth loss, tooth decay, gum disease, gum recession, oral cancer, bad breath, and poor denture care, to name a few. Diagnosing and treating these issues activates trust, and when they trust you, they’ll come to you with all their oral health needs.

They’re more likely to engage in cosmetic dentistry: For many of us, the way we look effects the way we feel. is vital to self-esteem. For the elderly, maintaining their physical appearance is vital to their self-esteem.

You’re opening yourself up to a strong network of referrals: If you’re able to help your patients feel good about themselves as they age, you’re showing their caregivers and family members that you’re good at what you do.

How Membership Plans Benefit Retiree Patients

Membership plans mean transparent pricing: For patients on a fixed income, financial transparency might be the deciding factor in whether or not they accept treatment. With dental membership plans, retirees know exactly how much their treatment costs and have the added stability of receiving additional treatments they might need at a discount.

They get the care they need, when they need it: Paperwork and insurance company hassles can prolong the waiting period before treatment. For retirees, dental care usually can’t wait. In fact, waiting too long is often dangerous to their immediate health. By offering your elderly patients an in-house dental savings plan, you’re helping them get the care they need as soon as they need it.

No spending limits and immediate treatment mean long-term savings: Since retirees are more likely to need their dental insurance more often, they might surpass the spending limit before it renews. The great thing about dental membership plans is that there are no spending limits and dental emergencies are always covered at a discount. Also, since membership plans allow patients to accept treatment immediately, short-term issues are less likely to become long-term problems.

How to Attract Retirees with Dental Savings Plans

Talk to their caregivers: Many retirees have caregivers who schedule their necessary medical appointments. Reaching out to caregivers or caregiving agencies is a great way to build awareness of how your plan can help the person under their care.

Go where your patients are most likely to be: Build relationships with your local retirement homes, nursing homes, assisted living centers, and even gyms! A lot of gyms have silver sneaker programs for retirees who want to maintain their physical fitness. Since their dental health is a major part of their physical health, you’d be surprised how many elderly gym-goers would jump at the opportunity to keep up with their oral hygiene.

Remember: Retirees actually read their mail!: Thanks to digital media, it’s often said that print advertising is dead; for the elderly, the opposite is often true. While direct mail might not grab the attention of your millennial patients, a postcard with a memorable image is a great way to build awareness among retirees.



Wine-Stained Teeth: How to Prevent ‘Wine Mouth’ from Ruining Your Smile

Wine is delicious, refreshing, and boasts a wide range of health benefits – but before you raise your glass to a healthy heart or lungs, consider what that vino will do to your teeth.

Beyond the Stains: How Wine Damages Your Teeth

A fine wine is enough to bring a smile to any wine-lover’s face. Unfortunately, the natural mix of dyes, acids, and tannin in wine often leave little mystery behind the smile’s cause. “Wine mouth,” or the red stain left on teeth after one enjoys a few sips of wine, is the result of intense pigments penetrating a porous surface made even more porous by a highly acidic substance. Wine mouth might create immediate discomfort in social situations, but its long-term effects – and improper methods of damage control – can be even more distressing.

How to Prevent Wine from Staining Teeth

1. Start with clean teeth. Brush your teeth about an hour before you plan to taste wine. Stains love to stick to plaque but have a more difficult time adhering to a smooth surface. Brushing teeth immediately before taking that first sip disrupts the palate and isn’t recommended. Practicing proper oral hygiene 30-60 minutes before wine consumption should have no effect on the wine’s taste. To clean your teeth and decrease sensitivity at the same time, a toothpaste promoting remineralization like the Fluoridex Sensitivity Relief is ideal.

2. Steer clear of white wine. Although red wine is the oft-blamed wine mouth culprit, white wine is no innocent bystander. White wine is more acidic than red wine and as a result, more damaging to your oral health. White wine doesn’t produce visible stains due to its lack of color, but its acidity strips your enamel and increases its porosity. Since the enamel is your primary defense against tooth stains and sensitivity, when you drink white wine before red wine, you’re essentially allowing the pigments in red wine to color on a blank canvas.

3. Remember why wine and cheese go well together. It’s a good thing cheese and wine complement each other so well because calcium-rich cheese is exactly what your teeth need to prevent acid erosion. The waxy consistency of cheese (especially hard cheeses) will help to seal the micropores in your teeth that are exposed to the teeth-staining pigments in red wine.

How to Remove Red Wine Stains from Teeth

1. Resist the urge to reach for that toothbrush or teeth whitening kit. Experts suggest waiting at least an hour before brushing teeth after drinking wine to give your teeth a chance to recover from the acid attack. If you brush too soon, you run the risk of permanently stripping your enamel. Equally tempting is the urge to bleach the teeth for a quick next-day solution. Teeth whitening kits are just as dangerous on newly weakened teeth.

2. Instead, try wine wipes for teeth. Red wine teeth wipes gently remove wine stains from teeth without damaging the enamel or interfering with the wine’s taste. Wine wipes were developed with the help of a sommelier and contain orange blossom, a common ingredient found in most wines. Specifically designed to neutralize the palate while protecting and strengthening enamel, wine wipes are a great way to care for your teeth between glasses.

3. Consult your dentist. In worst case scenarios, the oral health professional in your life knows best. It’s always safer to consult your dentist than to attempt any DIY dental procedures at home. If you’re concerned about deep stains on your teeth, schedule an appointment for a cleaning and ask your dentist to recommend an oral care regimen.


How Dental Membership Plans Work to Increase Case Acceptance

Like most business owners, you probably keep a detailed log of new patients. You might even track where your leads are coming from. But how many times has a patient canceled an appointment or failed to accept treatment after a first visit?

Low case acceptance is one of the most common problems dentists face today. You might think these patients don’t see the correlation between their oral health and physical health, but the exact opposite is true. According to a recent survey from Delta Dental Plans, 85 percent of Americans believe oral health is extremely important to their overall health; 42 percent said they don’t see a dentist as often as they’d like.

Your patients are smart. It’s the insurance companies that are blind to the link between proper dental care and overall health. Fortunately, you have the ability to make dental care accessible to your patients. Starting a dental membership program is a quick and easy way to increase case acceptance and help your patients get the care they need. Here are a few easy ways you can help more patients accept treatment:

1. Ask the right questions. When you’re a dentist, every day is a busy day – but you should do your best to hide this from your patients. For most, being in your chair is already a nerve-wracking experience. To properly treat your patient, you must know what needs to be fixed – both orally and financially. Build a quick rapport to relax your patients and then ask the important questions: What brought them into your office? When did they last see a dentist? Were there any problems at their last appointment? Were those problems ever addressed?

These questions are designed to reveal financial hurdles that may prevent your patients from accepting further treatment. Common pain points include:

  • No insurance
  • Frustration with the insurance provider
  • Imminent loss of coverage
  • Insurance doesn’t cover their desired procedures

2. Offer the best solution. If you’re able to empathize with your patients while offering them a solution, you’ll gain their loyalty and trust. Lack of insurance is the number one reason people don’t go to the dentist. The number two reason? Cost. Dental savings plans are a great solution for both you and your patients because they allow your patient to accept the treatment they need and save you the time and energy otherwise expended on lengthy paperwork and insurance company struggles.

3. Find what works and evolve accordingly. Although every patient has a unique set of concerns, you’ll start to notice some trends over time. Keep track of what strikes a chord and build a list of best practices for your office. As you learn what works for you, you’ll find it easier and easier to approach patients who would benefit from your plan.

4. Optimize treatment presentation across the board. When it comes to case acceptance, presentation is everything. Getting your entire staff on the same page about how to present treatment to patients is vital to your practice’s success. Clarity and transparency should be the top goals of any presentation. Mention your dental membership program early on and patients will be more likely to listen to what comes next. After you’re done explaining the procedure’s details and benefits, you can show them the treatment’s actual cost compared to how much they’d save with a membership plan. Concrete numbers go a long way to convince patients their oral health is a viable and reasonable investment.

On the surface, dental membership programs increase case acceptance by making treatment more affordable, but the benefits don’t stop there. Subscription-based models also attract new and loyal patients who feel more invested in their long-term health.


How Dental Savings Plans Effortlessly Attract New Patients

It’s no secret that exposing your uninsured patients to dental membership plans does wonders for case acceptance. What nobody talks about is how your plans attract new patients. Savings plans open new doors for your practice and provide you with a multitude of new resources for lead generation.

Here are 3 new markets you’re automatically tapping into when you offer dental savings plans:

1. Your neighbors: People in your area are already searching online for solutions. Now, YOU appear as a solution. Lack of insurance and high treatment costs are the two main reasons people avoid going to the dentist – but that doesn’t mean they’re not considering it. In the past, businesses depended primarily on traditional advertising methods to generate new leads. Today, direct mail and news bulletins alone won’t get you very far. Chances are, numerous patients in your area are scouring the internet for budget-friendly treatment options right this second. Offering a membership plan on your website is an easy way to engage them in their consideration stage and stand out from other practices in your area.

2. Your loyal patients’ social network: Subscription-based programs build loyalty – and loyal patients are more incentivized to make referrals. We’ve seen offices run referral contests or offer bonus programs to get new leads. These are great ways to build awareness, but on their own, they do little to attract patients who will stick around in the long term. Dental membership subscriptions encourage patients to build lasting relationships with your practice. Loyal patients aren’t making referrals to get a discount; they’re referring the people they care about to a provider they trust.

3. Your community at large: Because savings plans work to help others, your outreach opportunities are endless. Membership plans give your practice a positive image in your community. Consider your target audience and find the best way to reach them. For example, you can reach uninsured senior citizens by communicating with their caregivers. You can also partner with local specialists to create a system of mutual referrals. Sponsoring local events is a great way to promote your brand. And above all: leveraging social media gives you infinite reach.

Now that you know how membership plans attract new patients with minimal effort, let’s talk about how they increase treatment acceptance with existing patients.