Like many well-known cosmetic dentists, Dr. Brian Harris receives numerous inquiries and questions from patients who want to change their smiles. In a recent live broadcast, he opened the floor for viewer questions and shed light on some lesser-known cosmetic options.
While veneers are one of the most popular and sought-after cosmetic treatments, they’re not a viable solution for everyone due to the cost. This is why Dr. Brian Harris advocates cost-transparency and offering different levels of smile improvement to patients.
Before beginning any discussion about treatment, the patient needs to identify (and the doctor to ask) precisely what they want to change about their smile. Is it the color? The alignment? The size or shape of the teeth? The gum line?
Since there are generally multiple solutions to any issue, the following discussion point should be about the patient’s budget. Respecting the patient’s budget while setting proper expectations for what can be achieved within that range is essential for building a relationship and establishing trust. The benefit of beginning the smile transformation process with a virtual consult is that it allows you, the doctor, to lay that groundwork of confidence before the patient even steps foot in the office. In addition, you can cover different levels of treatment because it shows the patient that this process is a partnership, not just a transaction.
It’s essential to keep in mind that if a patient isn’t in a place where it financially makes sense to move forward with treatment, it doesn’t mean this will always be the case. That’s why virtual consults are so powerful. Patients have space and time to decide whether they want to go for a lower-cost option or to hold off for a few months or even years to make sure they can invest in their ideal smile.
Dentistry is a private practice and often reveals deep vulnerabilities in patients. Whether a patient’s smile concerns have developed due to lifestyle choices or have been a life-long burden, they are linked to feelings of embarrassment, shame, and regret. That’s why developing trust, and a relationship with your patients is the key to treatment acceptance and beautiful outcomes.
What’s one of your most memorable smile improvements, big or small? Please share your story with us in the Smile Virtual Community Forum here.