By Roger P. Levin, DDS
Orthodontics is under competitive pressures unlike anything we’ve seen in the past. Emerging trends are making it more challenging for orthodontic practice production and practices that don’t understand these trends will fall victim to them.
The rise of the following emerging trends is rapidly affecting orthodontic practice production:
- DSOs or corporate dentistry
- Aligner dentistry
- Direct-to-consumer orthodontic care
- Patients shopping for orthodontic services
- More orthodontists
Don’t Fight the Trends…“Out-strategize” Them
Fighting a trend is like fighting a tsunami. You simply can’t win. Two important keys to success—and keeping your head above water— are to have clear strategic and marketing plans and hire a highly-trained treatment coordinator. Only 10 years ago, orthodontic practice production was more directly tied to great orthodontic care and the economic law of supply and demand. However, depending on these factors will not work today.
We recommend a 12-month marketing program that is based on five complete categories of marketing including patients, parents, social media, referring doctors, and the community. We believe that unless all five areas are addressed, production and referrals will gradually decrease over time. Conversely, by concentrating on these five areas practices will increase the number of referrals as a result of utilizing multiple categories and sources.
Once you have people in the door, it’s essential to have a trained treatment coordinator with a basic understanding of human psychology, negotiation, and relationship building, who knows how to present and close cases. Many treatment coordinators who had very high close rates are now experiencing a downturn and they don’t understand that it’s because they lack additional training.
We are practicing in an era where it is no longer a matter of simply showing up and providing excellent care. Practices must understand emerging trends and the strategies that will allow them to develop excellent production and continue to grow.
Roger P. Levin, DDS is the CEO and Founder of Levin Group, a leading practice management consulting firm that has worked with over 30,000 practices to increase production. A recognized expert on dental practice management and marketing, he has written 67 books and over 4,000 articles and regularly presents seminars in the U.S. and around the world. To contact Dr. Levin or to join the 40,000 dental professionals who receive his Practice Production Tip of the Day, visit www.levingroup.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.