Do Same Day Crowns Bring in New Patients?
If you're considering investing in a CEREC or other same day crown mill, this article goes over whether or not promoting a message of same day crowns is worthwhile.
From a clinical perspective, you may find that advanced technological equipment can improve your case results and confidence in your craft. While technology can be a great differentiating factor in your dental office, you may wonder if there is a direct tie to your bottom line by investing in same day crown equipment.
I was at this year's Townie Meeting, where I saw Howard Farran speak. Howard made a joke about how many dentists are skipping questions about the two primary concerns your dental patients have:
1. Will it hurt?
2. How much will it cost?
Howard joked that many dentists will explain how certain procedures can be done in a single visit, while the above two questions are considered collateral, rather than paramount. "I don't know about those things, but I can get it to you on the same day," Howard jokes as he jokingly shoulder slaps an audience member.
Howard has a point.
How many patients actually call asking for dentistry only if it's performed within a single visit? How important is it that you're able to perform a crown within hours to these patients? Will same visit dentistry bring you new patients (even if other dental offices in your area offer CEREC, as well)?
If you're reading this article, you're already ahead of the curve. You're considering purchasing a CEREC, and unlike many clinicians, you're considering more than the sticker price. You're considering more than increased chair-side efficiency. You're considering whether or not same day crowns can bring you new patients. And you're totally smart to think this way.
Let's start with some real life example. Dr. Brian Chan of Rancho Bernardo has this to say as to whether he sees new patients in his San Bernardo office because of CEREC:
"In short, absolutely!
We've had a CEREC system for about 5 years now, starting with the Bluecam and progressing on to the Omnicam. During that time period, we have never had a patient tell us that they preferred the traditional way of making crowns. Instead, they constantly tell us that they enjoy the convenience of making a single visit to have the procedure completed. For most, it's simply less time away from work that they have to take off. For others, one visit to the dental office means less anxiety because for some, it takes a lot of energy to gather enough courage to come see the dentist due to past traumatic experiences elsewhere.
Reducing the number of visits from two to one means half the anxiety and half the stress, which always makes them very happy.
We have also had new patients call the office specifically for the "same day crown" procedure as it represents modern technology.
They have commented that their desire was to find a dentist who stayed up to date with new materials and methods. Pairing the precision of the CEREC system along with stronger materials available to us than ever before, our clinical outcomes have been outstanding. When we are visually excited about the results we get, the patients pick up on that and truly enjoy sharing [in the positive vibes]. Ultimately, this results in great word of mouth marketing which we all know is the best form of marketing out there. Thus, the cycle continues!"
Dr. Farr of Atascadero, who is not a CEREC doctor, has this to say:
"I can't imagine CEREC offering any drawbacks in terms of patient attraction. Obviously there is a learning curve in training your assistant to offer this service. You essentially become your own Lab. As a patient attraction tool, it seems as though CEREC has only an upside. You can improve treatment planning by offering the same great dentistry in a single visit. I imagine if no one else in your area is offering same day crowns, this might be a great selling point!"
Clearly, even dentists who aren't currently a good fit for CEREC seem to think same day crowns offer a value add to any marketing campaign.
Dr. Sam Carroll of Yuma, AZ has this to say about CEREC:
"It definitely has changed the entire workflow and experience in my practice. CEREC has changed my entire practice." Dr. Carroll mentions to me that CEREC is in his fb posts and it's a key advertising component for his office.
While these stories are helpful to understanding whether dentists are happy with their CEREC investment, the price tag on CEREC should cause you to stop and think. Let's go over my take on whether same day crowns are a good marketing investment.
The saying "truth is said in jest" couldn't be more true than at the Townie Meeting, this year. Going back to what Howard Farran (who invested in CEREC 1 and still is a proud CEREC doctor) mentioned, attracting patients comes down to pain and price.
While attracting new dental patients is a complex field of psychology, it essentially boils down to trust.
Being upfront about what a dental patient is getting into is a huge deal. You want to be honest with prospective patients about what level of pain and cost variables exist. You can convey this on your website, but most dental websites don't do this.
Before getting into technical details, your prospective patients want to know a little about you. If a patient is in pain, this may matter less, but generally dental patients want to get some sense of trust before calling your office.
By conveying a sense of who you are through video and photography, you'll be in the best position to explain how same day crowns are such a value-add compared to other dental offices.
We'll get to an example of how this works in real life in just a minute.
Dental marketing is all about being perceived as the best fit among other local alternatives. This means if you have a website visitor who hasn't ever heard of you, same days crowns will only benefit you as long as other dental websites fail to bring this up.
The bottom line is dental patients buy based on feeling, rather than logic.
Dentistry can easily be viewed as a commodity by those who are unaware of clinical variables. Which is pretty much every dental patients you're hoping to attract. By being visible, feeling trust-worthy, and later highlighting all the benefits of same day crowns, you'll be in the best position to attract new patients.
Many dental offices have purchased a CEREC, but fail to tell anyone about this technology on their website. Dr. Hansen of Apex, NC has this page dedicated to explaining (on video) the benefits CEREC offers his patients. But, it's only after you view the homepage video and photography that this would ever matter to the patient.
By allowing people to get a sense of who you are on your homepage, all technological advancements will just be icing on the cake for your prospective patients.
The bottom line is this:
Technology which causes you to feel confident and enthusiastic is a powerful marketing tool, but only if your patients get to see your confidence and enthusiasm take place on your website.