Making preventive dentistry work for your practice
Rather than treating teeth, modern dentistry focuses on helping patients to learn the essential skills they need to achieve and maintain good oral health. Most oral diseases are preventable and regular visits to the dental practice ensures that patients are guided and encouraged to implement good oral hygiene and lifestyle strategies to keep the teeth and gums in good condition and prevent the need for treatment. But how does the preventive approach effect practice profits?
Making a profit is not just about expanding the treatment portfolio to meet patient demand, increasing productivity and generating more revenue. It’s also important to utilise the skills and resources you already have within the practice to their full extent; to add value to the care provided and maximise the benefits and outcomes for patients whilst ensuring that the business maintains a healthy margin. For instance, a hygienist/dental therapist is an integral part of the team that adds value to the patient experience. Yet there is further potential to increase profitability by ensuring that their full scope of practice is utilised and perhaps dedicating a little more time and space to hygiene services.
With a focus on disease prevention and oral health promotion, dental hygienists and therapists are educators and treatment planners that undertake examinations, screening processes and other important procedures to prevent, control or treat oral diseases. It is not just about scaling and polishing or freeing up time and appointments with the dentists – dental hygienists and therapists are ambassadors for the practice and are central to growing and maintaining a loyal patient base. These dental professionals are in a unique position as they spend a substantial amount of time on a one-to-one basis with patients and have the chance to develop relationships and build trust. They are instrumental in explaining to patients what their needs are, putting them at ease and setting the scene for treatment acceptance and recall appointments. Furthermore, some of the most profitable procedures are offered by hygienists and dental therapists such as whitening treatments, sealants and non-surgical periodontal therapy, as well as the sale of anti-snoring appliances, bite splints and sports guards and preventive home care products like electric toothbrushes, mouthwashes and toothpastes.
Hygienists and dental therapists can also include services such as high fluoride treatments, blood pressure checks or smile analyses. But the key is to increase the value of hygiene appointments with education that makes patients sit up, listen and take action. When patients are able to see how they can improve both their oral and general health simply by visiting the dental practice, retention, recommendations and ultimately profits are sure to follow.
Dental practices can embrace the goal of adding value by incorporating the CALCIVIS® imaging system. This is the first bio-tech dental device in the world, and it uses unique technology to identify and visualise active demineralisation on tooth surfaces. It provides reliable clinical information by enabling dental professionals to differentiate between active and inactive caries enamel lesions, but most importantly, work can begin at the very early stages of the caries process to halt the progress of disease and protect the teeth from further destruction.
It is easy to see how the CALCIVIS® imaging system enables practitioners to make confident clinical decisions and practice better preventive dentistry. Certainly, it is revolutionising the management of dental caries, but it is also an excellent communication tool. The CALCIVIS® imaging system is set up at the chair side and uses a bioluminescent photoprotein that produces a light as free calcium ions are released from actively demineralising tooth surfaces. It displays this information as a live, glowing map of ‘hot spots’ or active lesions in front of the patient so that they can see and understand exactly what is happening to their teeth. The CALCIVIS® technology captures glowing images that really engage patients, providing dental professionals with the ideal opportunity to fully explain the demineralisation process and deliver valuable oral health education. Typically, patients are very interested which empowers them to take action and make positive steps to improve their oral health.
This non-invasive system can be used with patients as young as six and represents evidence that your dental team is dedicated to preventive, minimally invasive dentistry. Dentists, hygienists, dental therapists, assistants and nurses are all able to operate the system, so it is suitable for all types of dental practices. It encourages the use of the full scope of skills offered by the dental team and provides significant benefits for your patients. Plus, if you include the CALCIVIS® procedure as an add-on for a nominal fee or perhaps as part of an ‘advanced oral hygiene package’ the imaging system will pay for itself and there may be the potential for it to pay the salary of a qualified dental hygienist for a year too.
If you would like to learn how to add value and deliver advanced preventative dental care while you grow your bottom line, contact CALCIVIS® today.
For more information: email us at [email protected] or call 0131 658 5152