Delivering profitable preventive dentistry – Flo Couper Educator and Product Specialist at CALCIVIS®

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  Posted by: Dental Design      16th January 2020

The aim of preventive dentistry is to help patients to achieve and maintain maximum oral health throughout their lives. It involves high quality education to inspire good habits comprised of oral hygiene instruction and advice about lifestyle and dietary choices to help patients to reduce the risks of oral diseases. Regular dental examinations ensure that the early signs of disease are identified and addressed before they become a painful or complex problem. Ongoing professional guidance also facilitates strategies to prevent, slow down or stop disease progression. Certainly, modern dentistry has come a very long way since the ‘drill and fill’ scenario of the past, but is it still possible for dental practices to make a healthy profit?

Good health

Recently, there has been a real surge of interest in physical fitness and healthy living. People of all ages are more focused and aware of their health and wellbeing, benefitting from increased levels of physical activity and better eating habits.[1],[2]People are investing a significant amount of time and money on their appearance, which is possibly the reason for the major demand and growth within the comprehensive restorative, cosmetic dentistry and facial aesthetics sectors.[3],[4] To increase revenue and generate more practice profit, you could extend your treatment portfolio and branch out to meet patient demand. Perhaps it is time to take the plunge into facial aesthetics for example, or to update your clinic and offer a spa-like experience. Indeed, with the nation’s enthusiasm for health and fitness in full swing, this is the perfect time to promote the benefits of good oral health, increase your patient base and grow your bottom line.

Full scope of practice

Practices may be able to increase revenue using the skills and resources that are probably already available. For instance, a dental hygienist/dental therapist is an integral part of the team that adds value to the patient experience. The role of hygienists and dental therapists not to free up time for the dentist or just to perform professional cleaning procedures. They are able to undertake examinations and assessments, as well as other procedures to prevent, control or treat oral diseases. By ensuring that the full scope of practice that hygienists and dental therapists offer is used productively, there is the potential to improve patient outcomes and grow the business. Indeed, some of the most profitable dental services are offered by hygienists and dental therapists such as whitening treatments, sealants and high fluoride treatments, non-surgical periodontal therapy, anti-snoring appliances, bite splints and sports guards. Not to mention sales of preventive oral hygiene products such as toothpastes, electric toothbrushes, flossers and mouth rinses.

Healthy patient base

Hygienists and dental therapists can also help substantially when it comes to growing and maintaining a loyal patient base. Their clinical work enables them to spend quality time with patients, explaining their needs, putting them at ease and setting the scene for treatment acceptance and recall appointments.  They have the opportunity to develop relationships and build trust, but as influential educators, hygienists and dental therapists can deliver oral health information that engages patients and inspires them to take positive action. As we know, dental practices can provide a full range of high-end dental treatments, but patients still require fundamental oral hygiene advice and adequate instruction in order to maintain hygiene levels and avoid damaging dental decay and disease. Additionally, when patients discover how much a visit to the dental practice can help to improve their oral and general health, retention, recommendations and profits should follow naturally.

Added value

The CALCIVIS® imaging system adds value to appointments and takes preventive dentistry to a whole new level. Developed to revolutionise the management of caries and dental erosion, this unique device uses bioluminescence to generate visual evidence of the very early signs of active demineralisation on the surfaces of the teeth. The CALCIVIS technology detects free calcium ions as the tooth enamel first begins to lose minerals. This enables dental professionals to identify active caries lesions in time to initiate first response treatment and inhibit the disease process in favour of remineralisation. The CALCIVIS imaging system also provides dental practices with a valuable communication and educational tool. It delivers personal information that helps patients understand their oral health status more easily and motivates them improve their oral health and comply with preventive treatments. Furthermore, by offering CALCIVIS screening as an add-on service or alternatively, as part of an oral hygiene package – there is the potential for this technology to pay for itself and increase revenue.

And so, the answer is yes. Dental practices can still make a decent profit. It is now possible to deliver better preventive, minimally invasive dentistry with added value that greatly improves the health of your patients as well as your business.

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[1] Changes to eating habits in the United Kingdom (UK) in 2015, by age group. The Statistics Portal [Accessed 4th September 2018]

[2] Sport England. Active Lives Adult Survey. November 16/17 Report. Published March 2018. [Accessed 11th September 2018]

[3] Robinson R. et al. The economics of dental care. The Office of Health Economics. June 2004. [Accessed 11th September 208]

[4] Research and Markets. Global Medical Aesthetics Industry: Injectables, Energy-Based Devices, Cosmeceuticals, Cosmetic Surgery, Facial Aesthetics, Implants, Cosmetic Tourism. Market Analysis & Forecast to 2022. August 2017. [Accessed 11th September 2018]

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