Some years ago, I made a decision to move from offering patients only the care I thought they needed to offering patients the care they asked for or wanted. This may sound like a semantic twist of a word game, yet I can assure you the results of setting this intention have been profound for many patients.
A few people, when they need a new car, take inventory of their bank account and purchase something that fits their needs or values. Whether the car is new or used, luxury or economy, many choices abound. Most people, I suspect, check their monthly budget and borrow a little more to own the car theywant. Regardless, people are always aligning their wants and needs with their most important values. Are we intentionally offering patients what they need? What they want? Both? There is no wrong answer, but it makes sense to have great financing if we are going to offer patients what they want. Financially speaking, according to Frank Spear, some of our patients who highly value their dental health are making a dental care investment that is similar to the financial outlay for a car.
In my dental practice, I believe a fair fee is a fee a patient can pay with gratitude. Many patients enter my practice believing they can only afford a denture or a removable partial denture. I routinely see patients with very modest incomes and thus modest monthly budgets receive beautiful, long-lasting, implant dentistry. I’ve asked patients if the financial investment that allowed them to return to dental health was important to them. All of them, including one whom I suspect might be a billionaire, responded, “Yes, of course.” For this reason, we offer Care Credit, and we might even extend in-house payment plans, if it makes sense. We offer financing to assist our patients in receiving the dentistry they want.
There is no substitute for a highly effective financial coordinator who can have honest, heart-felt conversations with patients about the financial investment it takes to receive beautiful, durable dentistry. My financial coordinator, Tina Melin is just that sort of person. She has a really great way of relating to patients, because she treats them like family. After all, they ARE family. Far more importantly, she has a tremendously healthy relationship with money, and she values great dentistry. When I hear her discussing the financial investment with patients, I mostly hear her repeating what she heard the patient values. She understands their fears of debt and repayment and whether the treatment is predictable or not. She understands their hopes and dreams. She understands because she listens like a professional, and she cares about them as people.
If you are a patient of my practice, you have no idea how blessed you are to have her here to help you afford the dental care you want. If you are a referring dentist, know that your patients will be given options to help them to afford the care they want, and in turn, you will be able to do your finest dentistry for them. I consider it to be a privilege to serve every patient, each referring dentist and my beautiful team.
TEAM MEMBER HIGHLIGHT !
My name is Tina Melin. I love big healthy smiles! When someone smiles or laughs without hesitation because they have confidence in their smile it truly is a smile from the heart. While being in dentistry for over 25 years, I have been blessed to be a part of giving many people the gift of a beautiful, healthy, and functional smile. I have worked as a dental/surgical assistant for most my career. While I felt proficient working chair-side, I did not have a true understanding of the financial investment that these patients are making. The turning point for me for making the transition from the clinical side to the administrative side, was when I looked at the actual cost of a treatment plan that was for a full mouth rehabilitation. That really hit home for me. I appreciate the tremendous investment in training
made by a dentist and the clinical team. I also understand the time, talent and organization required to bring a complex case to reality. Helping patients afford the financial investment puts a smile on my face.
My goal is to truly connect with patients, generously listening for what they value. I love to watch the feeling of empowerment develop in a patient and blossom when they complete treatment. I want patients to know that I understand them, so they can have the dignity of paying with gratitude. I consider it a privilege to serve every patient.
Happy 4th of July!
Dear Patients & Colleagues,
Happy 4th of July to you and your families. We at Aria Dental Implants & Perio thank you for your dedication and commitment to a service of excellence. We appreciate your partnership and continued referrals. Celebrate America and family!
Dr. Matthew Korn and Team.