In many places, the world of dentistry is becoming more and more competitive. And, as the consumer, that’s great news for you! When more than one dental practice starts vying for the same client base, acquiring and maintaining patients becomes even more important for the contending offices. Sometimes, this healthy competition translates into extra incentives for patients. We’ve done a little research and put together a list of sweeteners (that don’t cause cavities) dentists are offering to stand out to their patrons.
- Exceptional Patient Experience. Many dentists realize the importance of not only practicing excellent dentistry, but ensuring that the entire experience is positive one. Accommodating waiting rooms with televisions, games, magazines, comfortable seating and even cold beverages are offered by many offices. Most dental offices will also give an “office tour.” If you are searching for a new dentist, this is a great way to get a feel for a practice and the accommodations and technologies they have. Short wait times are also a critical aspect of patient care. Dentists should recognize the importance of your time and manage their schedules effectively to keep patients flowing smoothly and wait time minimal.
- New Patient Specials. Many dentists offer fantastic deals for first time clients. These ranged from free x-rays and exams with a cleaning to free teeth whitening with a new patient exam. We even found some offices advertising gift cards, free electric toothbrush, or iPod Shuffles for first time clients. Obviously, finding a quality dentist is more important than a “one-time deal,” but who doesn’t appreciate a great incentive to join a practice? Especially if you are already in the market for a new dental provider.
- Optimum Appointment Times. Sometimes the hardest part of going to the dentist is simply finding time in our schedules to make it to an appointment. More and more dentists are recognizing this fact and extending office hours and work days to accommodate busy patients. According to data that was recently collected by Brighter:
- About 5% of dental offices in the Brighter Network open their practices before 8 A.M. at least one day per week
- Around 50% of practices are open at least one night per week after 5 P.M. and
- 39% of practices took appointments on Saturdays
When choosing a dentist, consider selecting one that offers appointment times that work with your schedule. You are more likely to keep routine cleanings and checkups (and maintain your healthy smile) if it doesn’t require significant schedule juggling to make a visit.
- Sedation Dentistry. Anxiety is a major factor as to why some patients delay visiting the dentist. Many practices offer free or affordable conscious sedation or nitrous oxide to help make your visit to the dentist more comfortable. Movies or television in each op can also help take your mind off the procedures being performed if dental work makes you nervous.
- Patient Appreciation Events. Outside of the great patient experience you have when you are in the waiting room or the dental chair, some practices go out of their way to show their gratitude for you as a patient by hosting appreciation events. A few examples of these events include: catered barbeques at the park, tickets to the local zoo, or a pool party with dentist and staff. These events are a great way to get to know your dentist in a less formal environment and lead to more trust and comfortable communication when it comes to your oral health.
- Free Consultation and Second Opinions. If you are questioning whether or not a major procedure is the best option for you or a family member, many dentists will provide a free consultation or second opinion. This service can put your mind at ease about a suggested treatment or even propose alternate options that were initially presented.
- Financing Options. Most dental offices are willing to work with you to find a payment plan that works with your budget. Some offer senior, military or cash discounts. Others may accept payment plans.
- The Best Technology (at affordable prices). A competitive market drives practices to stay up to date with the latest and greatest dental technology. Whether it’s the most effective whitening procedures or same day crowns, shop around and find a practice that is offering the technology you want at the greatest value. Using a network like Brighter is an easy way for you to compare prices between thousands of dentists on all the procedures you are looking for.
Take advantage of the perks dentists are offering to gain and retain your business. What factor is most likely to grab your attention when you are shopping for a new dental provider? We would love to hear from you in the comments section below.