Last month we explored how hospitality can have a profound effect on the quality of dental care and contribute to the success of a practice. This month, we are diving into two more aspects that Dr. David R. Pearce considers to have been essential to his extreme success as a dental practitioner: greater comfort in dental treatments and adding value over time.
More Comfortable Dental Treatments
So many patients experience anxiety at the thought of any type of dental procedure. For Dr. Pearce, making them feel as comfortable as possible is essential to helping them get the work they need. “Gentleness in dentistry is important,” as he puts it. He believes in implementing quality measures, like tapping into your clinical expertise to bundle as much dentistry as reasonably possible into one appointment, reducing the inconvenience and stress of making the patient come back multiple times. If you can take a procedure that might take 4 visits and complete it in only 2, without sacrificing quality of course, then the patient will be far happier, and you will have made their life easier — which will not go unnoticed.
Many dental practices offer comfort measures such as anesthetic and sedation to eliminate pain during treatment. Dr. Pearce believes in taking that further by adding other amenities like blankets, television, massage chairs, headphones, a selection of movies, a beverage center with treats and goodies in the lobby, little giveaways in the bathrooms. Small comforts can have a big impact when it comes to helping a patient feel relaxed and will make it easier for them to let their guard down, overcome their anxiety, even if only partially, and trust you and your team to take care of them.
Adding Value Over Time
Most dental practices do not have the resources to offer every service under the sun and will have to refer some patients out for certain specialty treatments. That is not necessarily a bad thing. Every practitioner should know the limits of their expertise. However, Dr. Pearce believes that it behooves dentists to learn as many specialty services as possible to prevent having to refer out their patients too often. As Dr. Pearce puts it, “No patient would rather see a specialist if you can provide the same level of care and they can stay in your office.” Not to mention, referring a patient out increases the chances of them delaying treatment or just not getting it at all.
If a dentist does not have the ability to provide all the specialty treatments their patients need, they can consider bringing a specialist into their office, which would further promote the culture of hospitality. The patient, even though they may need to see the specialty provider, who is unfamiliar to them, will still feel comfortable because they will be in the same familiar place with the same caring team they have come to appreciate, making it far more likely that they will follow through with treatment. They will also know beyond any doubt that the specialist has the dentist’s full faith and trust. Otherwise, they would never have invited them into their practice. This arrangement gives the dentist far more control over the patient’s experience than if they were required to go to a different office to receive care.
When it comes to quality, any dentist can be successful with the right attitude and practices in place. Success is measured by more than the money you earn or the number of patients you see. It’s also measured by the quality of care you provide and the trust your patients place in you and your team. Having a culture of hospitality, creating a comforting patient experience, and adding as much value as you can for patients will keep them happy and coming back to your practice for all of their dental care.