Dos and don'ts for boosting elective dentistry

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Find the hidden dentistry in your practice

Every practice has incredible untapped potential, especially in the area of elective services. Many offices will point to the economic slowdown as a reason for a decrease in cosmetic dentistry. But even before the recession, the majority of practices weren't even close to achieving maximum elective production. Now is the time to change that!

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Provide a five-phase exam. Every patient should receive an annual "five-phase exam." This is a comprehensive evaluation that focuses on these five aspects of the patient's oral health: periodontal, tooth-by-tooth, cosmetic, implant, and occlusal. The goal is to provide patients treatment that addresses their oral health needs and wants for the immediate future and the long-term.

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Don't just focus on the patient's immediate concern. Single-tooth treatment still dominates the schedule for most practices. Instead of providing just drill-and-fill dentistry, doctors need to promote ideal treatment to every patient. Yes, take care of the patient's current problems, but don't ignore other possible treatment (for example, whitening or veneers for patients unhappy with their smiles) because comprehensive treatment is where most of your growth will be in the coming years.

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