How to Market Yourself as a Cosmetic DentistMarch 5, 2020 by AACD Executive Office
By Michael G. DiFrisco, CAE
That brass plaque also reminded me of a question that comes up often amongst AACD members and those who aspire to join the Academy: “How can I effectively market my cosmetic practice and differentiate myself from the others in my community—especially in a highly-competitive market?” After all, cosmetic dentistry is not a recognized specialty and virtually any dentist can claim to be a “cosmetic” dentist.
1. Have a Competitive Advantage
Dr. Sheri Boyton-Love, of Love Dentistry in Wichita, Kansas, and her team talk to patients about whole body health, not just the health of an individual tooth. “Plus,” she says, “we have a tranquil office environment with modern colors and décor. Other offices in the area are more traditional. We give patients a warm towel after every appointment and host a beautiful coffee and tea bar.”
2. Sell Results, Not Services
It’s been said that people don’t buy drill bits and saw blades; they buy holes and cuts. In other words, people don’t buy products and services; they buy the results of what you’re offering.
"Speak to a felt need. Don’t offer treatments, like bonding or veneers or short-term ortho. What you’re really offering your patients is hope, self-confidence, and happiness."
“The ultimate outcome we can provide for our patients,” says Dr. Michael Sesemann, an AACD Accredited Fellow from Omaha, Nebraska, “is quality of life. We help people enjoy eating without restrictions; express their emotions without any inhibitions; live in mental peace knowing that their oral health is stable; and the physical peace of not having to deal with pain or limitations.”
3. Find Your Dominant Selling Ideas
|Many dentists—especially those with advanced clinical skills or credentials—have made a huge investment in time and effort to build a really well-running and effective dental team, often using the latest in technology, and backed by a high level of competency to offer their patients the best treatment options. However, this “inside reality” is rarely conveyed through their marketing and communications. These make up your “outside perceptions.”|
If you and your team have something unique to offer, if you have a focus or a specialty, shout it out in all of your marketing.
“My true passion is to do more reconstructive and cosmetic cases,” says Dr. John Kling, of Alexandria, Virginia. “My team is on board with this ‘low-volume, high-production’ business model, and this is the message we try to use consistently in our practice marketing. With my background in occlusion, my AACD Accreditation and MAGD, I am uniquely situated to capture the patient population that I desire.”
I’m not talking about the CE you earn to maintain licensure, rather the competitive advantage that you can acquire through intensive courses of study in responsible esthetics, like those offered through the AACD’s Accreditation process. Dental professionals who have earned this distinction have been proven to see more cosmetic patients, and they typically see more revenues and greater practice production from comprehensive cosmetic, functional, and restorative treatments, leading to higher earnings.
When Dr. Jerome Cha, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, achieved his AACD Accreditation in 2013, he began charging higher fees for treatments—since his clinical skills and techniques had advanced—and he noticed patients would come from farther distances to patronize his practice.
You can be like Ghost Town’s Dr. Bertram Pincus and be “just another cosmetic dentist”. Or, you can step up, stand out, and really differentiate yourself from the competition by giving your patients and prospects a reason to choose Brand You over Brand B.
Michael DiFrisco is the author of How to Craft a RADICAL Brand for Your Dental Practice.