By Dr. Heath Brantley
Too often, dentists can get too caught up in the daily stress of managing their staffs, payroll, supplies and PR. One second, we look up and wonder where the year, quarter, or day went. There was so much that I wanted to accomplish and can’t help but feel that too much work was left undone. With 2019 over and the new Year ahead, I had to do the labor-intensive chore of running my 2019 numbers. This included assessing my business’s past, present, and future prospects.
I’ve written about how Solea has transformed my practice both on my blog and in dental economics . It is the most crucial piece of technology I’ve implemented in my practice. In July 2017, my practice reached an historic point. This moment has forever changed my life. This is the day that I signed for my first Solea unit. I wanted to take some time in this blog to provide an update on some of my practice metrics as I have not written about them in over a year….
My new patient flow increased in the first month of Solea implementation, as many of my patients know. 38% and continued to grow. Actually, I was able to compare the number of new patients between the years immediately preceding and July 2017, and found that my patient numbers had increased by 58.7%. Ironically, this is the same number that I saw in my revenue growth which was 60% in the first year. I have now had Solea in my practice for longer than I didn’t have it and my revenues are up 5x since I started. Once again, I was able to jump in with two feet and hold my breath with Solea.
So, why was my patient growth so rapid? I call it the Solea Effect!My team did everything as they had always done. We are friendly and smile at people. The only thing that changed was the introduction of the laser. It was a great tool that my patients loved, and they were happy to tell others. The great thing about our industry is that it’s still a people business and if you treat them well and implement patient centric systems and technology like Solea, they tell everybody.
Two of my favorite stories are about patient referrals by word of mouth:
- Before we seat them in the operating room, we take our patients on a tour of our office. A male in his 30s was particularly interested in Solea, asked questions, said things like, “that’s really cool,” and then didn’t mention it again for the rest of his appointment. It turned out that his oral health was very good and he’d never had a cavity. Owning Solea may have been cool but didn’t benefit this particular patient at all. Guess who turned up at the office one week later? His girlfriend! Why? Because she knew she was terrified of the dentist and had been recently diagnosed with cavities. She was afraid to go because she was scared. Needless to say, she got her work done and said it was “1000 times better than getting a needle .”
- Another new patient story is about a mom who refused to leave her dentist because she was loyal. However, her children came to our office due to our technology. My associate performed multiple fillings on her 4-year-old daughter. At her previous office, she had only a 12-DO. She was also pregnant at the time and scared of the dentist. It was a terrible experience. As she recalls, they could not numb the tooth so she “white knuckled” the whole appointment and it “was awful.” She then thought, why was the dental work so easy for my kids and I had to suffer through mine? So, she transferred her care to us and we took care of her 5-DO and now she says she “never has to stay up all night because she is scared to go to the dentist.” Thanks, kiddos, for referring your mom.
A short bio
Dr. Heath Brantley founded both. Wendell Family Dentistry And Wendell Learning Center which provides dental continuing education in a small group environment and focuses on “smarter dentistry, happier dentists.” He is passionate about incorporating technology to enhance patient experience and increase efficiency. Dr. Brantley believes patients are more intelligent than ever. He understands that dentistry is an art and a service and not a product. They value dentistry that saves their time, makes them more comfortable, and allows them to make appointments. The technology allows us to diagnose faster and provide treatment with less discomfort.