There’s a growing trend that will transform the practice of dentistry into a struggle for survival.
The early predictions were about the increasing prevalence of corporate dental practices were slightly overblown. Corporate penetration is continuing but not quite as quickly as projected. That’s both good news and bad news for private dental practices.
The good news is that you have some time to prepare. The bad news is that you absolutely must prepare or risk everything you’ve worked so hard to build being swept away.
Taking just one example, Aspen Dental states that it has added 60 or more practices every year since 2014. Aspen projects that it will add 75 new corporate practices in 2017, bringing its total to 675. That might not sound so bad, but Aspen is projecting it will double the number of practices in the next five years.
Corporate dentistry is coming for your dental practice. You might be safe if your practice is in a very rural area. But if there’s money to be made, corporate will be after it.
The corporate model has a number of strengths. It can and does achieve economies of scale that are nearly impossible for a private dental practice to match. Corporate offices frequently have expanded availability. And deep pockets mean that corporate practices can usually undercut any and all dentists in the market on price.
That may sound insurmountable, but corporate dentistry has one fatal weakness – it’s impersonal. It’s rare for a patient to be able to establish an ongoing relationship with a single dentist in a corporate office. Routine appointments are switched to an available dentist. High-value cases are often routed to dentists with more seniority in the practice regardless of the patient’s desires.
Corporate dentistry markets to price-conscious, insurance-driven, one-and-done dental patients. But it can’t compete effectively in getting the share of the market composed of people with the means and the willingness to pay more for a dentist they like, relate to, and trust.
That’s where your marketing dollars should be focused – on getting more of those better dental prospects.
Give Your Better Prospects Reasons to Choose You
The 20 percent of dental patients who you want to attract aren’t heavily motivated by price or insurance reimbursement. They’re much more interested in the quality of the experience they can expect in your practice. Those better patients want and expect the dentist they choose to take time with them, to explain things in a way they can understand, and to do everything possible to ensure their comfort and a superior outcome.
It takes time and effort to position yourself as the only logical choice to solve those better patients’ dental problems. You won’t achieve that status through postcard campaigns, newspaper ads, or radio or TV spots. Your website and your social media have work together to differentiate you from the great mass of dentists and give your prospects reasons to choose you. You need a system to get more and better patients.
When much of your practice serves better patients who aren’t interested in what corporate dentistry offers, you’re in a good position to not only survive, but thrive.
If you’re serious about safeguarding what you’ve worked to build and seeing it succeed in the face of corporate dentistry, visit www.patientattractionblueprint.com. Schedule a Blueprint call; they’re reserved for dentists who want to see a Patient Attraction System™ that can double or even triple their practices.
Corporate dentistry is coming for your practice. Will you be prepared?
SmartBox employs the best minds in dentistry to help you grow your practice. Our Practice Growth System™ is proven to help dentists in every market area across the country achieve predictable year-over-year growth.