Why do we have TC rooms? Why do we have TCs who do nothing but interact with new patients? Why do we believe that only they can do this? Why do we spend an hour or more talking a new patient and their family to death? What the hell is a TC anyway and why does the term “treatment coordinator” apply to someone who doesn’t render any treatment?

Have you ever asked these questions? Any of you?
As I started considering them (only recently) I became angry with myself for not doing so earlier! We all KNOW that a TC centered office is the way to go but how do we know this and how do we know it’s the best way? I can tell you for a fact that if you start asking these questions and examining reality with an open mind you’ll be as shocked by what you find as I was. AND you’ll find that your questions and, heaven forbid, any attempts to change how we’ve always done it are met with fierce opposition from your team, your office manager, your TC, your spouse, your peers and your colleagues. However, this resistance is a form of confirmation that you’re on the right track. I’ve discovered over the years that whenever I ask a controversial question and find that everyone in our business agrees on a single answer it almost always means that there is little if anything to logically back their collective position.
Why does this matter? Well, it matters because most orthodontic offices are literally centered around the TC focused new patient process. I know mine were. And? Well, for starters the TC process is terribly disruptive to the orthodontic office and to the life of our prospective patients. Disagree? Ok so then give me a logical argument against this statement:
If we made our pricing/financing simpler and if did the new patient consults in significantly less time, in the treatment bay we would massively increase patient awareness of what they are getting into, increase patient satisfaction and increase the number of exams we could see while keeping conversion rate at least as high as it is now if not higher.
No? Well let’s hear why please.
People have stuff to do. You have patients to see. Every time you leave the clinic to go to the black hole called the TC room you loose time. Many of you have a waiting list of new patients and despite what you belive, those patients won’t wait for you. PLUS your chairside assistants know more about what the patient will endure than anyone, including you!
You are probably correct that the tiered pricing, financing and insurance you currently subject your patients to is too complicated for anyone but a TC. But that’s only because you and your TC have made it that way to make yourselves feel important. I know you think that the patients “want to get to know you” and “like it when you spend quality time with them” but again this is hubris. We are teeth nerds who talk about stuff people don’t understand and make them feel dumb in the process. What if you went to a mechanic who tried to explain what tools she would use and how the algorithm in her computer diagnosed your car and the theory behind it? Zzzzzzzzzzzz
People spend less time shopping for a $60,000.00 car or buying a house or renting an apartment than you want them to spend with you before getting braces or Invisalign. That’s just plain silly! Getting orthodontic treatment is considered boilerplate and the people who show up at your office will generally buy… As long as you don’t talk them out of it!
I know you disagree and you’ll come up with a million reasons why what I’m suggesting won’t work. Super. If you’re getting the results you want then keep doing what you’re doing. If you want better results, more starts and/or to do all of this in the same amount of time or less then you might want to consider what I’m suggesting. This isn’t theory. I’m practicing what I’m preaching!
Don’t worry. If your TC can handle it (I mean handle not being the princess and center of the world) than he or she can be very helpful in assisting the assistants in finalizing contracts, running down problem insurance and setting up autodrafting when the office is busy. We even have  a cool little mobile computer for ours so she’s not stuck in one place and can service patients wherever they are in the treatment bay.
Change is good!
IMG_6564 IMG_6565