This is a joint blog post with our friends from Wisetack.
How many times has the following scenario happened to you?
A patient comes in with a dental abscess and localized mouth pain. You present your recommended treatment plan: a root canal and a crown. You’re confident they’ll go through with it; you’re the expert, after all. They never come back.
According to Dental Intelligence, this happens more often than not – 61% of the time, on average. In a recent poll from Dental Intelligence, 25% of all dental professionals that were surveyed ranked increasing treatment acceptance as the number one goal for their practice(s).
Getting patients to say “yes” is a key issue in dentistry, and the web has a plethora of materials dedicated to solving this problem. Common recommendations include simplifying jargon and making things as clear as possible with imagery in patient education. It’s also important to build an emotional connection with patients. Most experts also advise enhancing the entire patient experience to alleviate the common dentist dread. This includes making the visit more enjoyable, of course, but also streamlining administrative tasks for the patient as much as possible (that’s where Dental Intelligence comes in).
All the tips mentioned above are valid and should be followed, but they are trumped by one key patient concern: cost. Even if you put your best foot forward with everything else, a patient won’t agree to treatment if they can’t afford it.
Many patients cannot afford treatment
It’s no secret that some patients forgo necessary treatments when they can’t pay for them. What can be more surprising, however, is how frequently that happens. The numbers speak for themselves:
- 80% of Americans delay dental care, knowing it will cost them more in the long term.
- 56% of Americans cannot cover a $1,000 emergency with their savings.
- 74 million Americans do not have dental health coverage.
With your patients’ financial situation out of your control, are you just out of luck if they can’t afford treatment? Not quite. An effective solution is to offer financing. And even if you are already doing that, it is still worth evaluating different financing partners, as some will have a much more positive impact on your practice and your patients.
Financing benefits more patients than you may think
It goes without saying, but the main reason a patient would finance a treatment is that they can’t (or can’t comfortably) afford it. But it’s not the only reason. A patient who has the means to pay for a treatment might still favor financing if they qualify for a 0% APR. (True 0% APR terms incur zero interest and shouldn’t be confused with deferred interest options, which charge high interest rates after a promotional period.) That’s why once you have chosen a financing partner (or several) to work with, it is crucial to promote financing as a payment option to all patients — not just those you think will need it.
Choosing a preferred financing partner
Not all financing partners are equal and finding one that can fulfill both your needs and your patients' needs can be challenging. Below is a handy chart of what to look for in a financing partner, and why Dental Intelligence has selected Wisetack as its preferred partner.
Help more of your patients get the care they need
Offering affordable financing helps with the ever-present challenge of increasing case acceptance in your practice, but more importantly, it puts necessary and life-changing dental care within reach for patients who could otherwise not afford it (and would end up paying significantly more in the long run by putting off their proposed tx). Affordable financing like Wisetack’s lets your patients live better lives, and helps your practice shed risk. It’s a rare, win-win situation that no practice should go without.