Emergencies! While some doctors do not like them, there are many reasons they should. We discuss in this episode of Dental Marketing Mastery.
- The macroeconomics of dentistry before and after 2008
- Cosmetic dentistry
- The drop in routine care
- The onslaught of emergencies due to missed care
- Why emergencies don’t have to mess up your schedule
- How to make yourself available for emergencies
- Dental internal marketing
- On your website
- Reception room
- The right dentists and operatives
- Social media
- Online dental appointment scheduling
Hello, and welcome once again to the dental marketing mastery series. This podcast is brought to you by dentalwebconnet.com and New Patients Incorporated. I’m Howie Horrocks, the Founder of New Patients Incorporated, along with me once again, as my friend and partner and the President of New Patients Incorporated, Mark Dilatush.
Howie: Hello, everybody. Welcome to our podcast. Once again, we love it that you’ve tuned into to listen to us. How you doing Mark?
Mark: Good, I think there’s like 1600 crazy people who download these and they listened to him almost religiously, almost on a weekly basis.
Mark: So thank you. We hope we’re helping. We hope you are able to grab a couple little tidbits while you’re running on the treadmill or on your drive to work.
Howie: Yeah, thank you. Okay, what we’ve got going on today is we’re going to talk about emergencies and why they’re bad.
Mark: Emergencies. Yuck. Wait a second. Wait, wait, wait, not so fast. Not so fast. So fast. Alright, so let me put some macro economics to this. And maybe this will help everybody understand what, actually most of you are probably feeling this right about now in your dental practices, you may not know why but after 2008, when the recession hit the housing bubbles, burst, dentistry shed about 18% of its gross domestic product, which means, well, that’s a lot of money.
So what happened was, is we had people who were no longer getting elective treatment. I’m sure there are dentists listening to this who can attest to being a cosmetic dentist before March of 2000 in a versus being a cosmetic dentist after March of 2008. Because all the elective treatment basically dried up along with some of that elective treatment that dried up. So did routine maintenance and routine care. And the recession now is nine years in, you know, recovery is upon us. But still, you have to question what happens to the mouth? And let’s say even if it’s six or seven years, if you neglect routine, periodic professional maintenance and care, and what is the answer to that Howie?
Howie: Well, things kind of go to hell.
Mark: Okay. Good. Is that a clinical opinion?
Howie: Yeah. Very highly clinical.
Mark: Okay. So, right. So it makes it kinda makes perfect sense that a certain portion of that almost 20% hit that dentistry took 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 that’s a lot of money that wasn’t getting spent on dentistry. It makes perfect sense that we may come around to the point where you know what, those it’s time to pay the piper?
Mark: Okay. And for the topic of this podcast, actually, Howie and I, I think we said in one of our, I don’t know, articles, maybe like two and a half, three years ago, we basically said Get ready for the onslaught of the emergencies. Because you can’t not take care of your teeth and just magically not have decay. Okay, just, it just doesn’t work that way. So then when people you know how what you know, how your patients get when they let things go, you know, how your patients get when they’re prioritizing which tooth of the year they’re going to crown because their insurance only covers so much, you know exactly what we’re talking about.
Well, this happened to the entire population of the US all at once in a compressed fashion to the tune of billions of dollars. So this is not something to sneeze at. This is really something that we’re going to encourage you to prepare for even though the title of this sounds like we hate emergencies, it’s actually it’s quite the opposite.
Howie: Yeah, yeah. Actually, we’re kind of trying to portray how dentists often feel about emergencies sometimes. Well, oftentimes, we’ll hear what we want to attract emergencies, they’re just one time patients, and then they go away. Well, okay, that’s probably true. But I’ll tell you what, that one time patient comes in, and you get him out of pain him or her out of pain. That’s a motivated patient, they’re going to pay you and they’ll come back the next time, something breaks, and you know, there’s going to be a next time. So they’re not really just limited to one, one visit. Another thing we commonly hear, oh, they really mess up our schedule. Well, okay, but if you’re if you prepare for that eventuality happening, then you know, basically, what have you got? You’ve got somebody walking in, it’s usually a root canal, correct? Emergency?
Mark: post in core and a crown.
Mark: a couple grand
Howie: What’s that? How much? How much is that in your practice? I don’t know. But it’s a good chunk of money. And a lot of lot of times that the insurance will, will help out. And so, you know, you basically got money walking in the door, and all you need to do is, you know, handle the inconvenience by fitting in the patient somehow, some way, maybe skipping lunch, maybe rearranging something, because you’ve got some money sitting there that you didn’t even advertise, it didn’t even cost you anything they just came in. It’s almost like free money.
Mark: Yeah, it’s it. It also is um, I normally when you talk to a dentist, and then they don’t really want to promote. You don’t really want to promote that they handle emergencies. Um, part of the reason why is because the emergency dentists tend to get the calls for drugs on Fridays and Saturdays.
Howie: Oh, yeah. Yeah. The patients who are allergic to everything except Percodan.
Mark: Exactly. Those patients. Yeah, the allergic patients will call them will call them the allergic patients.
Howie: Yeah, that’s, that’s true. Okay, but it happened.
Mark: Yeah, it happened. But the recession didn’t have anything to do with that. A lot of these patients will be true emergency patients, and they will be as Howie points out, if you will work with your team to be flexible in handling them. Um, they can add, if you have one a day, that’s this, they can add, you know, 1500 dollars to $2,000 a day in production.
Mark: What’s that worth to you?
Howie: Yeah, unplanned for.
You know, and it’s not like they’re never going to come back, they’re probably will come back, just like Howie says they’re going to come back next time they have a toothache.
Well, then they’ll either listen to you take your advice and start, you know, taking care of their teeth. Or they won’t. In either case, they’re going to be back. They’ll either have another emergency or the the light will come on, and they’ll go Dang, you’re right, Doc, I need to come see you guys.
Mark: Dentists think dentists think sedation dentistry was the cure for the phobic DENTAL PATIENT. And I’ve said, I’ve said forever, that it’s not sedation. It’s pain. Pain. If you’re a current, if you’re experiencing dental pain, the only thing you the only thing you want is to get is to get that taken care of your fear goes out the window. Right. So that’s now what can you do to become the emergency dentist in your town? You think this is probably a good place for a
Mark: for a commercial break Howie?
Howie: Yeah, let’s let’s go do that. And we’ll be right back. You hang in there.
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Howie: Okay, we are back. We were talking about the emergency patient and why they’re very motivated patient because they’re in such pain. Heck, you could probably even get them to you know, clean up their past child support and send their mom roses and
Mark: Right. Exactly, exactly.
Howie: Just get them out of pain, they’ll do anything.
Mark: Exactly. So, so how do you become? Maybe not necessarily the go to dentist in your town for emergencies? But certainly How do you make yourself available? Um, well, one way is in and there’s several ways internally, just let your all your patients know that you’re available to them through your voicemail through your, your outgoing message in your emails, and even in your texts in almost all your communication with your existing patients. Reception room loop on your in your waiting room. Um, just let them know if they ever are experiencing any dental pain at all, please call this number immediately and have that number set up properly, and so on and so forth. There’s one way, another way is to make sure it’s on your website. Because non patient traffic, that’s your storefront. That’s where you want. That’s where you want to present.
The breadth and the scope of what you have to offer your community. One of those things is emergency care. We even have practices on promote 24/7 365 emergency care. And it did them very well. Very well. Filled those gaps right up. But the doctor has to be pretty flexible. And the staff has to be even more flexible. And you have to have the physical room the operatories, um, and in some cases, the dentists in order to pull it off. So your website for sure. Social media? Absolutely. You know what is our policy on emergency dental treatment and just here’s the phone number, here’s what will happen. Here’s what your expectation should be. We’re here to serve our community. Seven phone numbers a URL and you should be good.
One enormous, um, well two actually two enormous ways to improve this one of them is to is to be the review winner in your local market. I mean, emergency patients, they are still going to the web, they’re still doing their search, they’re still looking at reviews, and they’re calling from there. Um, so if if you want to be part of that market and gain part of that market share that certainly one way to do that be the reviewed champ in your in your market area, or at least one or two, maybe three, top two, let’s say. Another really great way and we see these all the time coming through the platform is giving the emergency patient the ability to dental appointment scheduling online right now.
Howie: Oh, yeah, that’s big.
Mark: That’s huge. Um, that is Yeah. Now, here’s what we are pretty sure of now, we haven’t confirmed this but if you think about it, logically, you’ll probably laugh as we likely will. There’s a really good chance that the people looking for Percodan are not going to make an appointment on your website.
Mark: So if it’s Saturday evening, and there they need a fix, they’re probably going to call you but the person who is genuinely in dental pain is probably going to make an emergency appointment for Monday. I’m assuming, you know, you have availability Monday. So yeah, we would encourage real time online scheduling capabilities if you really want to capture that piece of the market, we see those appointments coming through the platform, and we see how many of them are new patients, and how many of those new patients are emergencies.
And it’s a it’s not majority percentage, but it’s a solid percentage of those appointments are emergency patients so and, you know, the younger your patient pool gets the more millennial like they’ll be and they all want to make their appointments and, and be done with it. As you know, as well. Saturdays, Sundays, Friday evenings, it doesn’t matter. The scheduling system will work for you 24/7 365. So we don’t want dentists to look upon this market segment, as you know, just a pain in the butt.
We see the numbers so we see them, you know, we see the revenue they generate, and it’s not the end all be all, we’re not asking you to be you know, that’s not 100% of your marketing plan. That would be insane. But it would certainly be a potentially overlooked marketable attribute that you may not be taken advantage of that you could take advantage of for a very little bit of money. Okay. That’s what we look for. We look for those advantages that don’t consume a large portion of your marketing budget that other dentists are ignoring. And this is one of the ones they ignore. And they ignore it many times for all the wrong reasons.
Howie: Very well put, I agree completely.
Mark: That’s a good thing.
Howie: Anyway, that about wraps it up for today. We certainly look forward to being with you all again next time. Thanks a lot. Bye now.