The major challenge oral surgery practices have with building their full-arch business is that they are not completely in control. Relying on referring dentists for patients, as opposed to advertising directly to the public and controlling the entire treatment process has both inherent disadvantages and tremendous advantages. Most surgeons understand that they must provide education programs for the referring dentists to feel comfortable presenting treatment to patients – and being confident enough to handle the restorative procedures.
However, what is often overlooked is the information referring dentists need to be able to successfully implement full-arch treatment in their practices.
This generally includes:
Staff training on the full-arch treatment process, patient education
Hybrid maintenance and home care protocols for the hygienists
Treatment presentation and patient education materials
Fees, patient financing options, how to handle insurance
Marketing, including website, social media, Internet ads
The surgical practices that have been the most successful building their full-arch business have developed a comprehensive, referral co-marketing program to address all of these issues, in addition to providing clinical education programs. Some surgical practices have also branded full-arch procedures to provide a unique marketing strategy for their practices and their referrals.
Education for the staff in referring offices can be provided either in lunch and learn meetings for individual offices, or a course for several offices. We have found that a combination can be very effective, but that the staff feels more comfortable asking questions in a lunch and learn setting. The facilitator for these meetings is usually the Implant Coordinator, who should be fully trained on how to present one of these meetings, but also on the content.
Part of the curriculum for referral education should include hybrid maintenance. There are several hygienists who lecture on this topic and it is recommended that a course be organized for the hygienists in referring office that want to building their full-arch business. If you need a recommendation for a speaker, please let us know.
Treatment Presentation and Patient Ed Materials
In addition to staff training on treatment presentation, it is recommended that the surgical practice develop patient education materials for use in their office, as well as the referring offices. If you would like training presentations and materials, or samples and suggestions for materials, please let us know and we can assist you. We also recommend that your practice consider establishing a new position for a Full-Arch Treatment Coordinator to not only handle patient education, treatment and fee presentations, financing, treatment sequence coordination, and answering questions from patients and referrals, but also to provide lunch and learns to train the staff in referring offices. If you are interested in learning more about this position, please let us know and we can provide you with additional resources.
Fees and Financing
One of the keys to success with full-arch treatment is having a set fee per arch, which includes per arch lab fees that are established in advance. Patient financing is also something that needs to be determined for both the surgical and restorative fees.
We highly recommend GreenSky for patient financing. They offer up to $65,000 per patient and up to 90 months to repay the loan. Making full-arch and full-mouth reconstruction affordable for most patients.
The company provides low discount rates for the surgical practice, and allows the referring dentist to sign up under the surgical host accounts. Referrals and patients apply/register on a microsite created for the surgical practice. Patient applications take about 5 minutes to complete.
If you would like more information about GreenSky, please let us know and we’ll connect you with the manager who handles the accounts for IDIA members.
We recommend that surgical practices consider doing full-arch treatment strictly fee-for-service.
If you are contracted with any insurance companies and forced to accept ridiculously low fees for dental implants, full-arch cases are not profitable. Utilizing the HITECH Act you can have patient opt out of their insurance for this procedure. We have had several attorneys issue legal opinions stating that this is
legal, and send sample forms for patients to request that this option and pay for treatment in full without submitting an insurance claim.
If you would like more information about the HITECH Act and patients’ ability to opt out of insurance for full-arch treatment, please let us know.
In parts 3 and four of this full-arch blog, we will focus primarily on marketing full- arch treatment and a few key aspects of the Clear Choice business model that the surgical practice can implement to successfully grown their full-arch business.