Statistics show that many dental practices have upgraded or purchased new in-office technology, investing an average of over $100,000 in the last 18 to 24 months. In general, those dentists who invest in new technology expect the additions to benefit the practice by increasing efficiency and production and, therefore, profit; and to benefit their patients by improving treatment experiences and results.
As you begin to consider which tech investments best fit your practice, consider first the benefits for your patients. If you can explain the whys and wherefores of new technologies to patients in layman’s terms so that each really understands the personal benefits to meet his/her own dental needs, patients will become as enthused as you are about enhancements and additions.
Another necessity---get your staff on board, eager to learn and enthusiastically promote the new technology to patients and prospective patients. Training on new technology for the dental team should begin with the supplier’s representative working with your staff in your office. Once basic knowledge is in place your staff can continue to refine techniques by practice, following the product user’s manual. Begin use of new technology with patients only after you and your staff are comfortable and fully competent.
Your website is your best marketing tool, very effective for educating patients and prospective patients about your outstanding practice in which you’ve implemented the latest technologies to assure world-class dentistry for every patient. With due diligence, you can find the right company to upgrade and maintain your website and to assure your site is at or near the top of the list on organic results (free search results). This company will make sure you have proper content and metatags, which are essential to good SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Your website also needs to be mobile friendly as it will help it rank better, even on non-mobile devices. In addition to your website, your social media postings are a “reach out and grab their attention” tool. Delegate posting responsibilities to one or two knowledgeable staff members.
In order to decide how best to introduce your new technology and its benefits to patients, try role playing during team meetings. Staff members who will be educating patients must be knowledgeable and articulate in their presentations. And remember, patients listen to Station WIIFM, “What’s In IT For Me?” Focus on positive outcomes for the patient when educating them about new technologies---more comfortable treatment, star-quality esthetics, durability beyond expectations, shorter and fewer appointments, and so on.
With a clear idea about how new technologies will benefit your patients and your practice, incorporate only those technologies that best meet your skill set and comfort level. Every new technology is not for every practitioner. Educate yourself about availability and outcomes, research new products thoroughly, do your homework, and then choose new technology investments wisely, one at a time, becoming fully competent on the new product or procedure before buying another.