At the Nobel Biocare Global Symposium 2019, an engaging session illuminated the paths through which dental implant professionals can optimize their potentials. Moderated by Dr. Jay Malmquist, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and the Chairman of the Foundation for Oral Rehabilitation and current president of the Academy of Osseointegration, the discussion produced a number of tips and techniques that each speaker had implemented in their practice. Here, we share their top advice from this Global Symposium presentation.
Have clear goals and objectives
According to Dr. Tidu Mankoo there is no ‘perfect recipe’ for running a successful practice. As an individual practitioner, you must know what you are passionate about and exactly what you want to achieve, giving you clear focus and direction for success at your practice.
“One of the most important things is, what about you? What are you trying to achieve with your practice? If you don’t know, then your team probably doesn’t know, and your patients don’t know either.”
Based in Windsor, UK, Dr. Tidu Mankoo positions his small practice in the premium market segment, focusing on high-end products and solutions rather than a high volume of patients. A clear practice ethos and mission statement has been written, ensuring clarity of purpose for the whole team and a unified message communicated to patients.
With a similar approach of optimal treatment quality above quantity we find Dr. Arturo Llobell’s own family practice in Valencia, Spain. In Dr. Llobell’s opinion, a successful dental practice will not only need to deliver the best possible outcomes but will also need to clearly identify the market demographic it wishes to pursue, and then establish reasons for patient loyalty.
“You cannot focus on treating every single person that we encounter on ‘the street’, because each one has a certain goal, a mindset, a perspective, or a will to undergo certain types of treatments. You need to decide on a number of factors: how many patients can you attend daily in order to fulfill your professional goals, and what their needs really are” he said.
Dr. Simon Kold, who runs a significantly sized practice in Denmark with his wife, Dr. Louise Kold, made clear their motivation: “We love implants. My wife and I want to focus on implants, to place a lot of implants, and provide everything in the surgical and prosthetic procedures.” Dr. Kold stated that their practice has defined two core values; ‘Best quality’ – focused first and foremost on achieving predictability and long-term treatment success – and ‘Best service’. To achieve both predictability and high productivity, he went on to emphasize how a digital workflow for his whole team has helped make this possible at their practice.
Know how to attract target patients with dental practice marketing
Drs. Kold, Llobell and Mankoo all agreed that attracting the right patient for your practice needs to be backed up by a targeted marketing plan. “For our practice, inbound marketing – where you attract patients by giving them information online that displays professionalism, knowledge, and instill confidence that you can deliver value – has proved to be more successful than traditional media channels,” said Dr. Mankoo.
He continued, “If a patient cannot see the value of your services, all they see is the cost”. While as a dental professional, you may be most attracted to technical aspects of different products, this is not the benefit that your patient sees. Therefore, it is important to understand what your customers want in their treatment experience and ultimately, their desired outcome.
“You need to pay attention to the patient’s entire journey, and this begins before they even set foot inside your practice,” added Dr. Llobell. He summarized nine steps of the sequence that are important for your patient, but easy for the practice to forget:
- Presentation and visibility of the office from the street
- Quality of the website
- Entrance and reception area
- The waiting room, including the information and literature provided
- Entrance to the operatory
- How we introduce ourselves
- Quality of treatment, and interaction with new technologies
- What does the patient carry home after treatment is completed?
- The importance of patient-to-patient referral by word-of-mouth.
Pursue efficiency with a digital dentistry workflow
Dr. Kold’s practice now has 10,000 recall patients, 100 referral clinics, 35 employees, and has acquired 3 dental clinics.
Together with the aforementioned predictability and productivity, how was this growth made possible? By streamlining a digital workflow and a clearly-defined team-based approach. According to Dr. Kold, “while I meet the patient and carry out the initial examination, it is the assistant who then carries out intraoral scanning, face scanning and CBCT and other ‘smaller’ steps, creating for me a ‘virtual patient’. This enables my predictable treatment planning in a timely fashion.”
“While Louise and I are responsible for things like virtual planning and conducting surgery itself, we let the rest of the team do almost everything else, as long as they’ve been trained for it,” he said. “This means that I might only see a patient for 15 minutes before commencing virtual planning, yet the high standard of patient care is a prime responsibility of the assistant.”
Network with other clinicians
Since there is so much that can be learned in a specialty like implantology, listening to and learning from other clinicians and available literature must be considered as a mandatory step toward success, according to Dr. Llobell. “Spending time at symposia, lectures, universities and congresses will give you more confidence to deliver better results for your patients through the new techniques you learn and the experience you achieve,” he said.
Utilize the industry’s help
As a long-term Nobel Biocare customer, Dr. Kold was enthusiastic in his praise for how the company had benefited his practice. “One of the most crucial ways to practice implant dentistry productively is to use implant solutions with a proven long-term success and a reduced time-to-teeth,” he said. “Training and education isn’t just available at higher learning institutions these days—companies such as Nobel Biocare are great at providing workshops and clinician support so that you can place implants with confidence.”
Nobel Biocare Global Symposium 2020
The next Nobel Biocare Global Symposium will be held on April 16–18, 2020, in Las Vegas, US