It's a common question for dentists and their front desk staff members.
"Why does the doctor charge so much?"
It's a tough question to answer and is usually followed by some fumbling and bumbling. So here's an answer to try at your next practice calibration meeting:
"In our practice, we are very proud to provide the best dental care that we possibly can. That means we use the finest materials, most modern equipment, and the best infection-control techniques, and we constantly take continuing education courses to stay up to date. This all is a part of giving you the best treatment possible.
"We may not be the lowest-cost practice around, but we feel the quality of the treatment we provide and the way we are able to care for all of our patients is reflected in our fees. After all, we are treating your teeth, your smile, your body -- it's an investment in yourself that will last a lifetime.
"Dentistry really is both an art and a science. Even using the same lab and identical materials, you'll get different results depending on the skill of the doctor. You really do get what you pay for. You want a dentist with a good education and solid experience, not some guy who got his degree from a dental school in a mall next to a Banana Republic."
You can suggest to your patients that they wouldn't choose a cardiologist based on price, and remind them that their overall health is linked to the health of their teeth and gums. You can also briefly explain that there's a lot of overhead in running a quality dental office, including office space, payroll, equipment, insurance, and so forth. You can also tell them that you use a high-quality lab and the best materials.
If someone is clearly not satisfied with your "quality of our treatment is reflected in our fees" response (and you're feeling bold that day) here is something that usually gets them to come around:
"If you like, I can gladly give you the names of several dentists in the community who have significantly lower fees."
That one usually gets them thinking -- thinking that your practice is the best! But it can backfire, so only use it when necessary.
The key is to be confident and not defensive when it comes to your fees. Be understanding yet firm when explaining the worth of your dental office and its high-quality work.
In 1989, Richard H. Madow, DDS, and David M. Madow, DDS, founded The Madow Brothers with the goal of helping their fellow dentists achieve success and happiness in their practices. For more information about their e-letters, audio series, New Patient Mail marketing program, Dental Powerhouse group, their live presentations (including "How To Love Dentistry, Have Fun, and Prosper," "The Ultimate Dental Boot Camp," and especially "TBSE"), and more, check them out at www.madow.com.
The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of DrBicuspid.com, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.