Following on from their involvement with Private Dentistry’s invaluable ‘Guide to supercharging your hygiene room’ on behalf of EMS, George Cheetham and Mark Brown once again share their experiences of GBT as a practice builder and an integral aspect of their success as an award-winning oral healthcare provider.
During the first lockdown of the Covid pandemic, we saw the need for a clinical environment that provides outstanding dental care in a comfortable patient setting. We also had the vision of providing a service to the rest of the dental community by treating complex referrals that the standard dental practice cannot provide.
This vision has now become a reality. And we have brought together a team with the same values.
We have a group of enthusiastic dental team members who are experts in their respective fields. And we’ve provided the environment and technology for our clinicians to provide outstanding care to patients.
Our patient focus
For us, deciding what to invest in mainly comes down to the health of our patients. For example, periodontal health is so important, and the foundation to successful dentistry.
At our practice, we carry out a lot of specialised treatments, including endodontics, orthodontics and implants. If you don’t have stable gum health, that is the primary stumbling block. You might as well just stop right there.
So, if there’s any way to help improve a patient’s periodontal health, we feel that we need to investigate further.
The GBT route
There are all sorts of possible options out there to help support patients’ oral health. But the one that really stood out for us was the guided biofilm therapy (GBT) protocol.
It is a good way of showing patients their level of oral health; a way of educating them so that we can work together to achieve improved outcomes.
Another thing that is remarkable about GBT is the comfort of the system. Patients can get upset if their treatment is a bit uncomfortable. That is particularly challenging given the experience-led society in which we live nowadays.
That desire is not a new phenomenon, of course. But it does add to the reasons why you want to consider anything that increases patient comfort.
Practice growth through hygiene care
Whilst our patients’ health and comfort always remain at the fore, money does matter. After all, if you cannot make a financial go of the practice, it is impossible to keep the doors open.
As far as we are concerned, building a busy hygiene list is an essential aspect of practice success. In terms of economics, it’s a good way of bringing in another revenue stream.
GBT also offers a great marketing opportunity, through word of mouth when patients are happy with what the hygienist does. In fact, we find that patients often come to the hygienist through the direct access mechanism when it isn’t necessary to see the dentist first.
It all adds up
In addition, for whatever reason, most anxious patients find the prospect of visiting the hygienist less scary that the dentist. Then, once they come in, realise how good the practice is, how nice it is and how beneficial the GBT treatment is, they are more prepared to see the dentist too, to discuss treatment options.
So, if you can bring these patients in to see the hygienist, it’s going to expand your list.
This is our reality – what we are seeing now with patients experiencing GBT for the first time is that we are building incredibly good patient feedback, which, for example, has led to great Google reviews. That has created greater connectivity between the dentists, the specialists, and the hygienists.
That also means the hygiene department is growing organically. What we are finding is that between 50 to 60% of GBT patients are booking to see a general dentist or to have a cosmetic consultation before they have even left the practice.
So, the experience with the hygienists is absolutely driving other parts of the business.
Another string to our bow comes in the form of engaging with social media influencers. You have to move with the times and that is how you get on the radar of Millennials and Generation Z.
Duty of care remans key
Of course, sometimes you do have to say ‘no’ to patients if their expectations or desires are unachievable. But, again, the GBT protocol can really make a difference here. The educational element can help patients to put their oral health needs and cosmetic hopes into perspective.
It serves to reframe oral health as the most important element of dental care. It teaches patients that it’s a must to achieve before any treatment can take place. They learn that there are no shortcuts, and, in that way, is critical to offering our patients the gold standard.
A ‘wow’ experience for everyone
Truly, GBT offers a ‘wow’ experience and our patients have told us that it is leagues beyond what they have experienced elsewhere. When they realise how good it really is, they are happy to book in again and talk to their friends and family about it.
As consumer awareness of GBT continues to rise, if you don’t offer it, you’re going to get left behind. Patients will go elsewhere, especially those looking to have cosmetic treatment at some point down the line. As well as offering incredible oral health outcomes, it is a gateway to treatment uptake.
If you’re endeavouring to provide your patients with the best treatments, and of course you are, then there is no doubt that investing in GBT will be a boon in the long term.
Your staff are going to enjoy their role more and work better together, as a team. Patients are going to pick up on the high level of service that they receive. And the practice will get busier through word of mouth.
It’s a winning protocol for everyone involved!
To view and keep a digital copy of Private Dentistry’s ‘Guide to supercharging your hygiene room’ on behalf of EMS for yourself, please click here.