Think about all the commodity items in your life – groceries, clothes, even cars. You can buy commodities anywhere; the only difference is the price you pay.
When did dentistry become a commodity business? And why?
To a large extent, look at the rise of two relatively new factors – dental insurance and corporate dentistry. Dental insurance says, “We’ll pay this much and no more for a dental procedure.” That induces patients to look for the lowest price to minimize their out of pocket expenses. Recently, insurers have begun to shift costs to policyholders, which is even more pressure to find the cheapest rate.
Dentists today are viewed basically as commodity providers. In other words, they’re assumed to be competent, so why not choose the least expensive? That leaves dentists engaging in price wars and shaving their margins – if not cutting them to the bone – to attract new patients.
Corporate dentistry, with its incredible economies of scale, has driven prices down even further. The chains can afford to out-advertise and undercut virtually any private dental practice. The chains’ availability – extended and weekend hours – is something that solo dentists and those in small group practices – also struggle to match.
You’re NOT A Commodity Provider
Dentists spend four long, expensive years in dental school to become knowledgeable and skilled in treating a variety of conditions. They’re advance-degreed professionals who provide an invaluable service to their patients. “Even” general practice dentists can have a positive impact on their patients’ lives comparable to what skilled specialty surgeons can provide.
When was the last time you saw a cardiac surgeon offering discount coupon on a quadruple bypass? Never, that’s when, and heart patients would blink in disbelief if they saw one.
You might think that it’s ridiculous to compare dentists to heart surgeons, but here’s the point – skilled medical professionals don’t devalue what they do, but dentists routinely fail to recognize the value they provide to dental patients.
If you don’t value the services you provide, why should the prospects in your market? You can take yourself out of the “commodity provider” box by giving prospects reasons to value your services over those your competitors provide.
Embracing that approach gets you more patients. Done properly, it will also bring you better patients, the ones with the ability and willingness to pay more for the right dentist. Those are your ticket out of the price wars and bullying by insurers.
SmartBox provides a steady stream of better patients to our doctors, allowing them to focus on doing the dentistry. SmartBox dentists can work less, earn more, and have the time to enjoy life.
Are you ready to escape the box of being regarded as a commodity dentist? The way out begins with a free, no-obligation conversation with SmartBox. For a small investment of your time, about what you’d invest in doing a crown, you can discover what’s possible for your practice.
You can and should reap the rewards for the value you provide to patients. Don’t settle for being pigeonholed.