Most oral surgeons would like to be doing more full-arch cases, and many of them have been trying to build this part of their practice for years, implementing the traditional approach with referrals.
Provide numerous education programs
Discuss full-arch treatment at study club meetings
Negotiate standard fees with the lab
Establish an all-inclusive fee per arch
Then in terms of marketing, surgical practices tend to use traditional strategies, such as:
Include information about full-arch treatment on the practice website
Post full-arch information on social media platforms
Run pay-per-click ads through Google
All of these are important aspects of a successful plan for increasing full-arch treatment. But it’s not enough to really generate a significant volume of cases and the statistics bear this out, since the average surgical practice does fewer than 20 cases per year.
Although it is impossible to compare a surgical practice that works with referring dentists to the Clear Choice business model, it is worthwhile to note that Aspen Dental paid over $1.1 billion for Clear Choice in December 2020, just 13 years after the first center opened in Denver.
Clear Choice doesn’t necessarily have the best clinicians in the country, they don’t customize treatment, and they don’t provide maintenance, but it’s hard to argue with their numbers. There is an obvious demand for full-arch treatment, so it makes sense for any surgical practice that wants to tap into this marketing to take a closer look at some of the strategies that have made Clear Choice so successful.
Advertisements with compelling messages
Strong digital footprint with excellent SEO and ubiquitous Internet ads
Consumer-oriented website with content that is easy to understand
Telephone operators who are well trained in handling shoppers
Treatment consultants with strong sales skills as the “closers”
Multiple financing options for patients
Efficient, streamlined treatment process
The convenience of having everything in one location
In reviewing these strategies, a two things really stand out: they focus on sales and marketing, and they focus on efficiency. Let’s break this down and outline how an individual oral surgery practice can emulate these important aspects of the Clear Choice business model.
Sales and Marketing
1. Clear Choice trains everyone who answers the phone to handle the calls exactly the same way. This rarely happens in a typical surgery office, but it is a critical investment if the goal is to successfully grow the full arch business in the practice. If you are interested in this type of training, let us know and we’ll provide some resources for you.
2. Clear Choice treatment consultants are trained and incentivized to close. Again, this doesn’t happen often in surgical practices. Experienced Implant Coordinators are great at presenting and explaining treatment, but very few of them have had sales training. This should be another priority for building the full-arch business. Let us know if you need training on closing skills.
3. Clear Choice offers financing for the entire fee. This is huge if you want to increase your case acceptance rate. We highly recommend GreenSky for financing. They will finance treatment up to $65,000 and they provide a much better rate (lower discount) for practices than Care Credit and most other financing companies. If you are interested, let us know and we can put you in contact with the VP who takes care of IDIA members.
4. Clear Choice has a consumer-oriented website. Most surgical practices have decent websites, with more practices improving their sites all the time. However, very few surgical practices have website that are truly consumer oriented, and this is important to capture the interest of people responding to Internet ads. Is your site oriented to the consumers seeking full-arch treatment? Does it portray your surgeons/practice as the experts in your area for full-arch treatment? Do you have patient testimonial videos?
5. Clear Choice has a strong digital footprint. In addition to a fully optimized website that is updated on a regular basis, Clear Choice has effective SEO and social media campaigns, as well as innumerable Internet ads. Some of the ads are the traditional pay-per-click ads through Google, but they also run banner ads to maintain an impressive presence on the first page of search results. Unfortunately, very few surgical practices invest this kind of money in their digital marketing, but it should be a serious consideration if the practice wants a larger volume of full-arch cases.
1. Clear Choice trains the staff on efficient delivery of full-arch treatment. Most surgical practices train some of the assistants, but rarely train all of the assistants. The Implant Coordinators are usually well trained, but not the administrative team. Training should be a high priority for any surgical practice with a goal of having a healthy full-arch business
2. Clear Choice has internal communication/coordination between the surgeon and lab technician and the surgeon and Prosthodontist. This is difficult for most surgical practices that are not set up as implant centers exclusively, with a lab and a Prosthodontist on staff. Therefore, the practice should consider a dedicated full-arch treatment coordinator.
In parts 2 through 4 of this full-arch treatment blog, we will explore implementation of the Clear Choice strategies in more detail, as well as how the surgical practice can enhance referral education, and implement a referral co-marketing strategy.