A common issue I read and hear is about improving case acceptance in our practices. While I talk about the importance of the words and communication connection we make with patients, there is something that is better – VISUAL COMMUNICATION. Visual beats words in effectiveness and quickness nearly every time.
A sales technique we aren’t using enough is quick in mouth mock-up to help patients see and feel what we are talking about. This patient came to our office as a routine new patient and we discovered she was unhappy with her smile. She wanted it better but was on a budget. Luckily her expectations were also on a budget!
I take a quick look at her smile and I see the following:
- Diastema between #7 and #8
- tissue loss and blunted papillae between #7 and #8
- fixed PFM bridge #9 to #11
- #8 longer than #9
Of course, the ideal treatment here would be a complete smile design. However, I know she is on a budget and she wants her smile to look better. So feel I can make her smile better with conservative options.
My conservative plan would be as follows:
- Composite bonding #7 and #8 to close the diastema
- Enameloplasty #8 to shorten close to the length of #9
My concern with this plan is leaving a ‘black triangle’ and having the patient complain about that. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had these conversations with patients about ‘black triangles’ and they literally have no clue what I am talking about and I quickly just give up and scamper back to my dentist operatory.
This time I decided to offer the patient a chance to quickly, painlessly, and totally reversibly see what I was talking about and if she was interested.
Mrs. Jones, you mentioned that you would like your smile improved, but you are on a tight budget. I’ve had great success in cases like yours with a conservative and budget-minded option to improve smiles. With your permission, instead of struggling to explain what I am talking about, I’d like to quickly just show you in your mouth. Would that be ok?
So I grabbed some composite and a plastic instrument (which we keep handy in each hygiene room for this exact reason) and without etch or bonding agent, I quickly did a mock-up in her mouth – literally in a few minutes.
We hand the patient a mirror and let her take a peek.
Mrs. Jones, how do you feel about this? Please forgive any rough spots as this was done quickly and rest assured when we do the actual work it will be even better. Something like this would probably be in the $600 to $800 ballpark (or whatever your fee range would be) and could be completed in a single visit.
Notice I don’t mention the black triangle (which is present in the mockup). Notice I don’t go into ‘dental’ detail about resin bonding or any other technical details. I am simply focused on the benefit and her chief issue – smile improvement.
The patient was ‘blown away’ and said yes! If she didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to write this post!
For those wondering, the composite mockup is completed with a composite, plastic instrument, and a micro brush to help keep things smooth and keep it all quick and simple.
For the final bonding – there is no better diastema closure technique (that I have used) than BioClear Matrix.
The Sales Pitch
If you are looking to ‘up your game’ in case acceptance then you should bring your team to the B1 – Foundational Case Acceptance program taught by myself (Dr. Tarun “T-Bone” Agarwal) and Dr. Sully Sullivan.
In this 1 day seminar, we will walk you and your team through 3D Dentists 4 step case acceptance workflow – Diagnosis, Influential Communication, Firm Financial Arrangements, and Priority Scheduling.