By Roger P. Levin, DDS
Every ortho practice deals with lighter mornings and busier afternoons. Orthodontists know the reason—most parents prefer that their children not miss school and therefore want to come in the afternoon. Many ortho practices have lost countless hours of potential treatment by enduring empty time slots each morning as a result of adhering to such parent preferences.
To encourage more morning appointments, Ortho Treatment Coordinators (TCs) can offer 10% courtesies in the following situations:
- For siblings having ortho care at exactly the same time. This simultaneous care increases the number of patients undergoing treatment, which means the possibility of more morning appointments being scheduled. The patients should understand that they will be expected to alternate morning and afternoon appointments out of consideration for other patients—especially if more than one child is in treatment.
- When a parent has ortho care with a child. It is worth noting how many parents are willing to pay for orthodontic care for their children, but ignore their own situation. Through the use of value creation scripting, parents often accept care along with their children. Once again, they are offered 10% courtesy if they do, but it is clearly explained that they will need to alternate morning and afternoon appointments.
- When a patient/parent agrees to always schedule in the morning. This is not offered to everyone. The most reliable patients should be steered into these less popular timeslots because they can be relied upon to not cancel these appointments.