If a patient comes to your office for orthodontic treatment, has good hygiene, no cavities or gum disease and a relatively straightforward case…. PUT THE BRACES ON TODAY. Why wouldn’t you??

Lemmie guess!

  1. Because you want to study the records? – Come on now doctor, how much studying is needed to do a straightforward case? Furthermore, how much do you actually look at the records you take in these cases? Be honest. The best articulator is the one attached to the patient!
  2. Because you don’t have time in your schedule? – If someone else has already done it, it’s probably possible! I’ve seen hundreds of orthodontists implement same day starts in their practices and discover that they have plenty of time and capacity. You have time.
  3. Because you don’t want to be pushy? – Hate to tell you this doctor, but patients love the convenience. They are busy, have other stuff to do and they didn’t come to your office NOT to get braces.
  4. Because you do indirect bonding? – Let me get this straight, you’re not at capacity, you have time on your hands, you want more money in the bank, but you will pay more (in house lab or third party) to increase your speed and decrease chairside time? Plus don’t forget the time you spend adjusting the brackets on the models! Get over it and learn to direct bond effectively for your sake and the sake of patients.
  5. Because you do clear aligners, precision brackets, etc.? – Again, unless you are getting a much higher fee for using this expensive technology that gives you more capacity (when you don’t need it) and less chairside time (when you have plenty of time) while sucking money out of your practice, it makes no sense to spend money you don’t have to buy things you don’t need. On the upside, using this expensive technology to finish cases sooner does make it more difficult to offer affordable financing…

Patients and their parents are busy. You have time.

Forget “what has always been done”, realize the world has changed and give people what they want. Everyone wins.

12 thoughts on “Start Today

  1. Hi Ben,

    Thank you again for making a difference, your real life solutions and the courage to stand up, speak what we all know in our hearts as the truth.

    So quick question. We are thoroughly convinced now of the need to implement same day starts ASAP and have taken steps to make it happen in the back-office.

    The missing piece in our office are effective scripts for the new patient phone call and again at the new patient exam to motivate Mom or Dad to accept treatment and start the same day.

    Currently the mindset and comments of our new patients seems to go like this:
    “It’s just a consult-right?-I want to wait til the new year when my Flex kicks in”
    “Well it’s open enrollment and I just want to start investigating this
    “I want to start in January when I have more bills out of the way.”
    ” Oh we’re just doing research right now, looking into this” or
    “Our dentist gave us 3 names and we want to see all of them before we decide”
    “My husband wants me to wait and do more research”
    “Can’t start now, waiting on my new insurance”

    I’m sure you heard them all and 100 % sure you have some very strategic and effective counters to these kinds of objections. Would love it if you could share a few of your favorite scripts please.


  2. Great questions! There are several here so let’s go through them. Let me know if I miss any.

    As to how we prepare new patients on the phone for the possibility of a same day start – we ask if the patient has any baby teeth and if they are current on their dental cleanings/checkups. If they have adult teeth and are current and seem eager to move forward or have a pressing issue in the mixed dentition we might say, “Dr Kineret will evaluate your child/you and if he feels you’re ready to start then we may be able to begin the process. He knows you’re busy and tries his best to do what needs to be done with as few trips as possible.”

    As to flex spending/HSAs/cafeteria plans – “Wow that is fantastic news that you have access to such a wonderful program. They are fantastic and we work with people who have them often. It makes paying for treatment very easy and affordable for our patients who have those plans. We know there are timing issues but as in all things Dr Kineret is going to treat your child as he would his own. He is not willing to let financing or plan restrictions dictate treatment. If your child is not ready, he will recommend you wait as long as it takes – sometimes that’s years while we are waiting on baby teeth to come out. If however he evaluates your child and feels it is the optimum time for treatment, he is happy to work with you and your plan. I’ve seen many instances where he will put braces on and not require payment until the first of the year when your plan renews (assuming thr plan allows this). Dr Kineret is fantastic and he takes great care office patients. I can’t wait for you to meet him.”

    As to shopping multiple places or being given multiple cards – “Dr Kineret thinks it’s a great idea for you to visit multiple offices. We shop for a used car so of course you should shop for your child’s health care! Dr Kineret believes that patients should feel connected to the office they choose and the best way to find that connection is to visit several. Tell you what, we don’t charge for records so if you want to start your shopping here, you’ll get all the info you need AND we will give you a copy of the photos and X-rays to take with you that day so your child only has to go through that once. How does that sound? Let’s make that appointment.”

    As to I have to wait on my insurance to kick in – “New insurance can be tricky. You are wise to consider your options and maximize your benefits. Where do you work? (Patient answers) Oh, fantastic, we have several patients who also work there/have that type of insurance (usually we do and we say so if it is the case). We are well versed in how it works and would be happy to explain it to you in detail. Dr Kineret is happy to see your child free of charge, evaluate the case and advise you. Our treatment coordinator can then advise you as to how you can maximize your benefit. You can take all that info and the records with you so you have a copy to review at your leisure. How does that sound? Great let’s make you an appointment.”

    Basically I want to make it convenient for patients to choose us. I want to be the one office that encourages people to shop. I want to be the office that helps people shop. They will take notice and I’ll win the shopping war more often than not! Hope this helps.

  3. See you there!! I’m super excited about the speaker lineup for the doctors and the staff course as well.

  4. Hi Ben,

    Thanks again for all the WONDERFUL tips and strategies and making a difference.

    Two Quick question on same day start/full bondings:
    1. Do you still take study models if it is a straight forward case and you have accurate photos and xr images?

    2. Could you give us more details on how to leverage our chairside assistants’ time to limit keeping the doctor at one chair for more than 20-30 minutes. In other words, in your office, what steps do the assistants do and which do you do during the bonding procedure?

  5. Steve,

    1) We don’t subject patients to impressions on easy cases where we don’t need them and I won’t use them to DX or TX plan. I hate impressions and don’t like to do them unless they are necessary or they are required by insurance.

    2) The assistant seats the bond patient, I look at the patient and the record and verify what we are doing, the assistant places retractors, applies etch, rinses, applies L-pop, then applies glue to each bracket and places them on the teeth (6-6 usually at the initial bond – we pick up the 7s when we get to a wire big enough to engage them, usually an 018 niti). The assistant then calls me and I stop whatever I’m doing to go over and adjust the bracket position and remove flash so the assistant can cure the adhesive. I don’t ask the assistants to try and place the brackets accurately as that eats up a great deal of time and I’m going to adjust them anyway. We work hard to get the assistants trained to put enough glue but not too much to limit flash because removal of flash takes a great deal of time. I posted a video of me doing a bond as described on young-docs. Well it’s actually two videos because I was recording in on my phone and someone called me! Anyway you can search for the video here https://www.facebook.com/groups/GACyoungdocs/
    At some point I’ll get around to making a new video on this and several others but it hasn’t happened yet.
    Hope this helps. Thanks for the questions!

  6. Hi Ben,

    Thanks so much for your leadership and all your great actionable ideas, scripts, and strategies- We have become huge fans of yours!

    For 11 months now we have been offering in house customized payment plans. It is definitely working and we are seeing about a 20% year over year increase in contract starts & production.

    The cash flow lag that came with eliminating 3rd party financing and larger down payments has been challenging- however we know this is not forever and we see our monthly collections starting to climb.

    We would like to boost conversion with our new patients -it is at about 50 to 60% raw conversion year to date. We had expected a bigger jump than that when we opened up financing and are not sure what to do next to boost case acceptance.

    We started offering same day starts coupled with extended financing, however not getting any takers yet-Still getting this response from ‘Mom’-“this all sounds great, but I really need to talk to my husband before getting started”.

    Leina says the stumbling block is getting them to move their focus away from the ‘sticker shock’ of the total fee on over to being delighted and eager to start with our 0 interest, extended financing offers customized to their individual needs and wants.

    So we would love it if you could suggest ways to get over, under or around this obstacle-Are there any other strategies, scripts, mindset, or feedback you would recommend to boost conversion on new patients and get our same day starts going?

    Thanks again

  7. Thanks for the kind words and insight Steve. Implementation is the tough part for sure! Salesmanship and removing obstacles seems to be your issue now. That can be tough for the traditional orthodontic TC and that is why we have sales people in those positions now. You can rarely teach people how to be a salesman but you can teach a salesman how to sell anything! It’s a different world and we have to change and adapt. Sales is one of the most under appreciated skills in the world!
    We will be talking in detail about how to implement and how to sell at TheMKSforum.com – in both the doctor and staff lectures – so that would be a great place to start. I bet you can get what you need at the meeting but if you want more than that I suggest you contact Wayne Pearson and talk to him about implementation. His email is wayne@theproortho.com
    Keep me posted on how it is going and thanks again for engaging in the conversation and trying new things in your practice. Change is good!

  8. Thanks so much Ben-will do!

    So what I am hearing you say is that the key is to find the right sales person, incentivize and share with them the super-benefits of orthodontics-then turn them loose?

    Can Wayne give direction on how to recruit this rock star sales person?

    Third question: What can I do to reciprocate all of your generous help and support the cause?


  9. OrthoPundit was created for exactly this kind of thing. I’m happy to help you and other orthodontists change and adapt to the new reality. Im glad you enjoy and appreciate it. No reciprocation necessary if you can get what you need here on OrthoPundit. Perhaps start a Smile For A Lifetime Chapter if you want to pay it forward!
    Wayne can give you insight into finding a sales person no problem. If you want more than insight, Wayne and Bridget can help you with implementation if you so desire. Talk to Wayne and he can tell you all about it. Have a great day!

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