The important role photography plays in the success of your practice

2019 10 23 22 18 7991 Rice David 400

Is a picture worth a thousand words? Or is it worth far more?


I could show you the rest of the series we recently took on this new patient. This single image, however, has so much to say.

Have a good look at it. What do you think about the following?

  • The size of the anterior six
  • The contour
  • The angulation
  • The color
  • The opacity

Here are a few more questions to ponder:

David Rice, DDS.David Rice, DDS.
  • Do the maxillary incisal edges follow the smile line?
  • Is the midline centered?
  • Is it perfectly vertical?
  • Do you know which midline question matters more?
  • If you drew a line down the long access of each tooth, would they meet at your patient's naval?
  • How do you feel about the incisal embrasures?
  • How do you feel about the gingival embrasures?
  • Does the anterior segment transition well to the posterior?

Here's a big question: Would you be happy if this were your smile?

Here's a bigger question: Do you believe this patient was?

Here's the biggest question: What does all of this have to do with a $2 million dental practice?

Well, friends, here's the thing. Whether it's veneers, crowns, bonding, or aligning teeth and whitening, you and I have patients like this walking in our doors all day, every day. The key to their happiness (and our success) are images like the one here and leading questions that help us understand what our patients see.

Imagine if every person on your team took a simple image like this on every patient you saw, every day. Imagine if, with that image, as a team, you asked every patient what he or she liked most about it and what was liked the least.

Next, imagine you asked permission to share what you liked most and least -- and then you applied all your dental knowledge to connect our science to the patient's emotion.

  • How many more patients would understand?
  • How many more patients would ask what you could do to help?
  • How many more smiles could you create, and how much more revenue would you ultimately drive?

My challenge to you this week is to do the following:

  • Take this smile image on every patient you see in hygiene this week.
  • Have your hygiene team ask your patients what they like and dislike.
  • Build on that information by asking permission to ask the questions above.
  • Track how many more patients say yes and what they say yes for.

A picture is worth a thousand words. It's also worth at least $2 million of revenue when you have a system for success and a system to stay accountable.

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