Tag Archives: private dental practice

What are Dental Savings Plans

Today, many Americans don’t have insurance or are unhappy with their coverage. When they require specific types of treatment, they’re often left frustrated by expense, waiting periods, exclusions, deductibles, and the portion of the bill that an insurance carrier won’t even touch.

Fortunately, dentists are starting to change all of that by offering in-house dental savings plans as an affordable alternative to conventional insurance policies. Continue reading

Top 4 Problems with Running a Dental Practice

If you talk to any dentist that owns their own practice, chances are that they’ll tell you college taught them how to become a great dentist, but nothing about what it takes to run a competitive business. Continue reading

Selling Products to your Patients

Many offices must face the decision of whether or not carrying products for their patients will work for them. A dentist I recently spoke to told me that they felt adding a retail section to their office would just add another full time job to their current workload – who would buy all of the products? Where would they buy it from – the manufacture or a third party, like Amazon? How do they know they’re getting the best price for their patients? Will I even be able to make any profit off of this? Oh wait… and what if no one buys the products I sell? I’m sure you’ve had all of these thoughts… so know you’re not alone! Continue reading

The Profit per Patient Metric: How it will change the way you think about your practice.

Using Profit per Patient to Plan a Realistic Path to Growth

If you want to grow your practice, but are only looking at production and new patients, you’re missing the bigger picture. You’re fighting the windmill on a daily basis and you’ll never truly get to realize the full potential of your business.

Improvement and growth starts with recognizing a basic, but critical, business metric: Profit per Patient. Looking at your business on these terms helps frame your goals in a different way: namely that you don’t always need more patients to grow or sustain your practice.

What’s more, is that this one metric gives you a way to measure your current performance against the past just by using your salary and your active patient count or number of appointments. Both values are readily available to you or you may already know them off the top of your head.

Profit per Patient represents how much you, as a dentist, will make on average from each of your patients. It is calculated by taking the total profit earned over a period of time (usually your net take home or salary for 1 year) and dividing it by the active patient count or more accurately, the number of patients you’ve seen during that period of time (i.e. number of patient visits / appointments including multiple visits per patient).

The average profit per patient visit is $56

What’s your profit per patient/visit?

If you’re like most dentists, then your average profit per patient visit is $56, according to the most recent ADA data available for General Dentists.

So now that we have a handle on our key metric, “Profit per Patient”, we can identify ways to improve it and achieve business objectives. This makes it easy to realistically measure and execute strategies that will help you grow and improve your practice.

For example, let’s say your goal is to increase income (profits) by 10%. You have two choices:

  1. Increase patient visits by 10% – so assuming 1500 patients, you need ~12 new per month.
  2. Increase profit per patient by 10% – so just $5 more profit per patient visit can achieve this goal (using ADA avg). Assuming each patient visits twice throughout the year means you need to earn ~$10 more per patient.

Let’s examine Option 1: Increase Patient Visits.

Growing a patient base is difficult and expensive. To increase patient visits, you can also work longer hours or work with other dentists, either through partnership, acquisition, or employment. All equally as difficult.

Now we’ll look at Option 2: Increase Profit per Patient.

You only need $10 more profit per patient to achieve your goal. So you can reduce overhead (salary, rent, supplies, etc), charge more for services, increase billings or expand treatment plans. But again, easier said than done, because expanding treatment may have a commensurate increase in overhead and the alternative, reducing costs, can take a lot of time and effort.

Re-frame the problem using Profit per Patient

Our ideal solution would generate 10%-20% more income without increasing your patient base, extending hours, changing procedure mix or billing more.

Once you realize that you only need to earn $10-$20 more profit per patient per year, you’ve framed the problem in such a way that it becomes easy to find new solutions.

Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? $10 = 10% growth? But that’s all it takes.

Here’s a Simple Rule:
$10 profit per patient ≈ 10% growth


The Solution for Growth

With per patient goals, the solution becomes obvious: you can simply expand treatment options by providing products to your patients using a turn-key service like DentalStores. This way, you don’t have to invest in any inventory, deal with customer support or fulfill orders – DentalStores handles it all for you. Plus you earn money on all sales, just as you would selling them direct from your office.

Using DentalStores, you can make 10-20% more profit per patient. The average profit per patient returned ranges between $10-$30 – and some offices make more depending on what they sell.

1 Electric Brush ≈ $50 profit

For example, you can earn up to $50 on an electric toothbrush. So selling just one brush to one patient would literally DOUBLE the profit earned per visit for that client. Imagine selling a toothbrush to every patient – it means you could grow your income by 50% – and this doesn’t even include the replacement heads they will be buying in the future.

Patient Products offer Income & Continuity of Care

Product sales provides a new, continuous revenue stream back to the office – but what’s even better, is that you continue to be involved in your patient’s care.

What are you waiting for? Start selling today!

Continue reading

5 Tips to Boost Sales and Help Patients

Here are 5 tips to help Patients find the products they need and increase sales.

1. Link to your Store Everywhere

Put a link to your Patient Store at the bottom of ALL your outbound emails, like notifications and appointment reminders.

Simply add the store url link to your notification templates. This will vary by provider – you can contact us and we’d be happy to help set it up. Alternatively, you can ask your webmaster or service provider and they should be able to easily do this for you.

If you don’t know the link to your store or forgot it, no worries, just drop us a note and we’ll send it to you.

Alternatively, if your service provider allows adding HTML to your templates, you can use the link generator in your Admin to create a button or text link and copy/paste into your notification template. NOTE: You cannot use the widget in emails.

2. Send monthly Emails to Patients

Feature your favorite products or a special offer.

Nothing works better than consistent emails with basic product information – it doesn’t matter whether you include discounts – it’s the consistency and value that counts. If you like a product or have specific tips for products that’s the most valuable type of information to share with patients.

If you want a special discount, just contact us and we’ll set one up for you. We can even help you send an email to your patients with a coupon or free gift card. It’s easy for you and great for them.

(If you haven’t sent Grand Opening Email, let us know and we’ll help you create one for your office. It will contain a special with an awesome offer (free $ gift card or coupon). Not only does it let your patients know how much you appreciate them, but it introduces them to the store in an easy-to-use way.)

3. Reward Patients

Hand out Gift Cards to reward patients – use the Discount Gift Card Program (beta) to save up to 90% on the value of cards ($100 for $10).

Did you know it can cost thousands of dollars to gain new patients? One office recently mentioned it cost them $500 to get just ONE new patient.

How can you reduce this cost? One way is to have your current patients encourage others to come to your office. Your patients think you’re great of course, so why not share this with others? Especially if there is a reward for them!

Using Patient Store Gift Cards to reward clients for referrals is an easy way to get started. Just buy a few gift cards and put up a note letting patients know that if they refer any new clients they will get a free gift card to use toward that shiny new electric toothbrush!

You can also use Gift Cards to reward patients for other behavior you want to encourage – so for example – coming to appointments on time or good attendance, etc.

Rewarding patients for their understanding can promote significant good will. For example, we had a practice give gift cards to patients that got their appointments cancelled one day, due to unforeseen circumstance that occurred at their office.

Our new Discount Gift Card Program (Beta) makes it a no-brainer – you can save up to 90%! You pick the amount and number of gift cards sent per month and pay just 10% of their total value. Then, when a gift card is used, you pay the remaining value on that card only. You only pay the full amount of the card when it’s used! This way you never waste money. Every year BILLIONS of dollars are wasted on unused, lost or forgotten gift cards. So why pay for something not used? Our new program eliminates this risk and the cost associated with it. Want to participate? Simply contact us for details.

4. Run a Facebook Contest

Create some buzz! Engage patients on Social Media.

Whether you have a huge social media following or are just starting out, a gift from your store is sure to make your office a fan favorite!

Contact us for contest ideas or help setting it up! Try our new FB Tool!

5. Give patients a business card

Business cards with a special offer can be given at every appointment.

Every goodie bag is an opportunity to let patients know about what items you carry in your store and the discount you are providing them in the bag.

Example conversation: “Hey Joe, here’s your goodie bag – I’ve also included a coupon for our patient store just in case you wanted to check into that flosser I mentioned during the appointment. See you in a few months – feel free to reach out on Facebook if you have any questions.”

We can send you a complimentary box of custom business cards with a discount coupon code unique to your store. If you need more, let us know.

How can you get yours? Just let us know you want them and send us a hi-res logo.

Beginner Tips:

Just getting started? Here are the most basic things you can do to set yourself up for success.

1. Link your site

Put a button link and/or widget on your website that connects to your store. In your Store Administrator, there is a “link button generator tool” that can create a code snippet for you to copy / paste into your site.

2. Create an easy to remember URL

Have your webmaster create a forwarding shortcut link to your store using your own domain.

For example: DrSmith.com/shop

This link is easy to remember for everyone and helps re-enforce your brand.

Just ask your webmaster to forward “[your-domain-name]/shop” to “[your-domain-name].DentalStores.com”. In the example above, “DrSmith.com/shop” would be a forward/shortcut to “DrSmith.DentalStores.com”

3. Introduce your patients and staff

Contact us to set up a webinar – we can help give you personalized instructions.

Talk to your staff about the store and make sure they know how to use it and recommend it to patients.

Introduce patients with a Grand Opening Email or Facebook Post. Contact us to set it up. We’ll create with an awesome offer with a free $ gift card or coupon. It shows your patients that you appreciate them and gives them an easy way to try your store.

Got an Idea?

Let us know what you have in mind and we’ll do our best to make it happen! We want to help you provide a great service for your patients – let us know how we can work together to achieve your goals. Contact us and let’s get started!