It’s fall, and this means two things: the leaves are turning and every dental specialist is offering some kind of CE program (I think we co-sponsored three yesterday). I attended one where Dr. Sam Strong from Little Rock, Arkansas was the speaker and, as I had expected, I was not disappointed. I have had the privilege of knowing Dr. Strong for many years and have come to think of him as a teacher, mentor and friend. One of the things that I admire most about him is his ability to relate to his audience and make them comfortable with his subject matter. He practices hometown implant dentistry and enjoys what he does and the audience can see that in his lectures.
One of the points that Dr. Strong brought out was enormous growth that is taking place in removable Prosthodontics because of our aging population. According to the statistics he gave removables are now a 9.3 billion dollar per year business. Every one of those cases is a potential implant case for the GP who has developed the ability to present implants as an option. Most of these cases will not be elaborate enough to impress your peers, but they will be the kind of cases that will accomplish the two most important things in your practice. They will improve the quality of life for your patient and should make you a nice profit.
In my experience of working with dentists in implant related restorations, there are three things that you must refine to become successful in this market.
- Develop good skills in Removable Prosthodontics (Just because they can take them out of their mouth doesn’t mean you don’t practice esthetic dentistry.)
- Develop a pricing structure that allows you to talk with your patients, at any time, about the costs and benefits of implants (Nothing damages patient confidence like a doctor saying I don’t do this very often I’ll have to check on that.)
- Know how to treatment plan (Make sure that the surgeon, laboratory, and patient always know what the desired outcome should be)
Two implants in the lower arch with Locator Attachments may not be as glamorous as a full arch all porcelain restoration but sometimes hometown dentistry can do more to build your practice (and your confidence) than glamor and glitz.