New poll says savings plan members ready for care, cost not a factor

By Kevin Henry, editor in chief

July 23, 2020 -- Nearly 90% of respondents to a new survey by said they will go to the dentist despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as long as safety precautions are in place. More than 4,000 plan members responded to the survey.

Of those respondents, all of whom are members of a dental savings plan, many have already booked appointments for preventive care or are planning to do so soon. And the majority (72%) said they want to know which infection control procedures are in place before they arrive.

A key finding for dentists is that cost of care, despite the pandemic's financial impact, was not cited as a factor that would prevent these plan members from getting dental care right now. This is most likely because their dental savings plan offers reduced rates on dental services at participating dentists, allowing them to save money on most routine, preventive, and emergency care. If you want to attract these patients, who also complete treatment plans at a high rate due to affordability, you must gain their trust. Especially now, in the midst of global pandemic.

The good news for attracting new patients with dental savings plans is that affordability has previously been linked to loyalty. The same poll also indicated that dentists who offer options to reduce the cost of care are perceived by patients to be more sympathetic to their needs, which directly increased patient satisfaction with their dentist. So, with more than 52% of plan members saying they are loyal to their dentist, and 37% of the general population saying the same, building trust among those with dental savings plans is key -- and simply offering affordability may be one way to do that.

Whether through traditional dental insurance, payment plans, or a dental savings plan, affordability plays a critical role in patient confidence, as well as their ability to receive the care they need. And this confidence permeates through the overall experience, providing peace of mind, so they leave feeling that they received quality care from the practice.

Other ways to build trust, whether among new or existing patients, is to communicate clearly that you are following all applicable infection control guidelines. Respondents to the survey stated that knowing frequent sanitation and disinfection is being conducted throughout a dental practice, maintaining social distancing in the office, and requiring dental staff and patients to wear masks would significantly increase their confidence in getting preventive dental care, such as checkups and cleanings, right now.

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

Copyright © 2020

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